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What should I do when my 17 month old hits me?

My 1 1/2 year old son throws the biggest fits when we are out in public. When I tell him not to do something, he smacks me. What should I do? I don't think spanking him is going to help...that would just reinforce his bad behavior.

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Asked by KatieSeaton at 6:48 PM on Jul. 8, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (10)
  • remove him fromthe situation immediately....even if you have a cart full of groceries.....even if you're next in line at the bank....leave music in the car on the way home....and put him in a certain spot when you get home and make him stay there with nothing to play with or anything until he do this enough times, he'll get the point....if he starts doing it to just leave a place he doesnt like, remove him, place him in the car (within your view and considering temperature of course) and leave him there till he stops...he will stop eventually....then take him right back in...repeat

    Answer by LoriaAnn at 7:55 PM on Jul. 8, 2008

  • I take Jack to a "time out" spot and put him there for a minute and a half...of course he doesn't stay seated or even stay there completely, but I hold him in the spot, with gentle pressure on his shoulder and don't react to his cries. Then when the time is up, I tell him "you don't hit mommy (or the dog or throw shoes or whatever it is he did...then say, I know you're sorry, I love you, hug him and go back to your day. I know it sounds wussy, but when you swat his hands, legs etc, especially at this age, it's sending mixed signals...In public you can go out to the car, or a shady spot away from everyone, etc...I hope something helps, they're so young it's really tricky!

    Answer by DonnaTL at 8:07 PM on Jul. 8, 2008

  • I don't believe in spanking...with my hands (they should reach out and show love)however, I do have a "spanking spoon" (just one of those wooden spoons from the dollar store) and I gently pop him with it. He started hitting me too around that age when he would get in trouble for something. The time out didn't work. Now, when he's doing something wrong, I ask him do I need to get the spanking spoon and he stops whatever it is he's doing....

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:29 PM on Jul. 8, 2008

  • first i would tell him no. that hurts mommy. if he does it again, do it back adn say see hwo that feels? why would you want to do that to mommmy and make mommy feel that way?
    you have to teach your kids empathy. sometimes the only way is to show them how it feels. if he does it again after, i'd pass him a hard smack on the bottom and tell him, you do not hit me ever. you need to estlabish this now. it won't reinforce anythign in his mind except that if he hits someone he will get hit back.
    50 years ago parents spanked and america was a much better place. conincidence? i think not.

    Answer by princezzmommie at 11:56 PM on Jul. 8, 2008

  • mine wouldn't understand a long explanation like some of you guys suggest. when she does it, i make a really sad face and then she feels bad and i make her give me a kiss. she is doing it much less.

    Answer by SamsMom125 at 2:49 AM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • i would just hold his hand and kneel to his level and say firm but not yelling, "no hitting, it hurts" or "no hit, owie"

    Answer by gibbysmom at 8:35 AM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • I do like gibbys mom. I just look Marshall straight in the eye and tell him "no hit!" or I will say "You don't hit mommy, mommies the boss" because sometimes I think, when i hit him, that is teaching him to hit when he is mad. Thats why I try to let him know that I'm the one in control and he isn't supposed to hit me. When he does something bad, I will like spank his butt or make lay in his bed for a little while. Sometimes, I will even smack his hand if he keeps touching something and I repeatedly keep telling him to "don't touch". I don't know if this is the "right" was to discipline but it suppose its been working for me. No one has a perfectly behaved kid.

    Answer by mindyanddylan at 9:34 AM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • My son is 15 months old and sometimes when he gets frustrated he hits too. I just take his arm that he hit with and firmily hold it in place by his side. He fights it a bit but then I say in the most motherly voice I can muster "do not hit me (and his name)" I think it is soooo important to add their name in it. Then after a squeeze I let his arm go. He usually pouts after. At first he would scream when I held his arm but after the stern "do not hit" talk he was a bit startled. I hope you find the right solution for your boy!

    Answer by adeuslove07 at 4:47 PM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • just tell him that hitting hurts and when he does it dont give him any attention. ignore him if you ignore him everytime he hits you just for 2 minutes. it will be more of a punishment to him more to not have you than to get a spanking. remember time outs are 1 minute per age. 1 minute for a 1 year old. 3 minutes for a 3 year old etc...

    Answer by jaes347 at 9:40 PM on Jul. 9, 2008

  • two words "time out"

    Answer by Teritryme at 2:45 PM on Jul. 10, 2008

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