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How did/would you deal with this?

My 17 month old just started hitting. He will only hit my 4 yr old, he hasn't hit me, my 6 yr old or 12 yr old step son, just my 4 yr old for some reason. How would you put a stop to it?


Asked by JessMomToDLA at 9:40 AM on Jun. 1, 2011 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I would put him in a time out for 1 minute and make sure he stays there. Once his minute is up go over and make sure he understands why he was put in the time out. Then I would have him say sorry to the 4 year old. When he says sorry he should look the 4 year old in the eye and then give him a hug. I would also watch them closely and see if the 4 year old is doing something to trigger this, like bothering him or starting with him first.

    Good Luck!

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 9:55 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • My husband and I took a Love & Logic class when our twins were that age, and it worked great for us. We'd pick up the child who hit and start carrying them directly to their crib while saying something like, "Uh Oh, it's so sad you have to go to your crib for a bit". When we put them in the crib we'd say, "I'll be back when you are ready to be sweet." We'd leave them there until they were quiet for about a minute and a half and then we'd go in pick them give them a big hug and say, "I'm so happy to have my sweet girl/boy back. Now let's go play."

    Crib time worked well for us, but other consequences such as losing a toy can also work well. Don't give any warnings or threats, and enforce a consequence for every offense. There is no need to lecture about what was done wrong because consistent consequences will get the point across.


    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:11 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Maybe there is something that triggers him that he does that he doesn't like. I would first figure that out. If it isn't, then I would just take him away from the other kids and he probably won't like that but he will learn not to hit.

    Answer by shannon979 at 9:51 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Firmly take his arm and say mommy does not like you to hit, use your words to tell 4 year old what you want,, then place him in timeout for 1 minute.

    Answer by kimigogo at 10:04 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • Try putting him in a "time out" spot. Get a timer with a bell. Explain to him that it's not nice to hit and you love him, but he has to stay in the designated spot until the bell sounds. Then walk awayand set the timer for 1 minute. If he gets up, you simply take him by the hand and put him back; you also restart the timer. He may not understand at first, but once he sees that he's going to be put back in the same spot over and over again, he should associate this action with the hitting. If this fails, then I would spank. Different things work for different children. I'm a grandmother. Although I do like the "time-out" approach, I still feel spanking is appropriate if that's what it takes.

    Answer by rosiemendo at 10:12 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • There may be a reason he is hitting (obviously not acceptable), but keep your eye out for frustration triggers. What has worked for us is to hold the child's hand that hit firmly and say in a very low stern voice "NO hitting, be gentle" then remove him from the situation and continue redirection. I have never had good results with timeouts on a child that young, we usually do not start with timeouts till a bit after age 2. But we have had excellent results from diffusing of situations, quick reprimands, and redirection... and of course positive reinforcement. When our 14 mo old started hitting the cats, we would firmly grab his hand, say "no hitting, be gentle", then would take his hand and show him how to pet, once he did that we praised him, after that we never had a problem. We do the same thing with the siblings, only have him give his sibling hugs.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 10:44 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • My 4 yr old tends to play rough with him but i don't know if that has anything to do with it or not?

    Comment by JessMomToDLA (original poster) at 10:59 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • It could very well. He could think that he is just playing. AT 17 mo, it would be hard to know what is okay in rough play.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 11:01 AM on Jun. 1, 2011

  • my 19 mo old grandson is at that stage, i believe that he is just getting started on the terrible (pratice makes perfect ya know) anyway, he is put in his crib for his time out and when his time is up he is told that he is not to hit and has to apologize to the person that he has hit. it's all about testing the waters, they have to see how far they can push before being pulled back. i don't think that at this age they are really trying to hurt anyone or doing it out of spite, they are just learning. Every kid does it. just be consistant with the discipline and it will all get better.

    Answer by nybor48 at 12:52 PM on Jun. 1, 2011