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Dealing with a two year old who hits...

Posted by on Dec. 31, 2012 at 2:30 PM
  • 5 Replies

I have a very fiesty and opinionated two year old. Currently, his favorite word is "NO!" If he doesn't get what he wants, he goes on a rampage and starts running around, screaming "no", hitting/throwing everything in his sight.

Usually when he does this, I ignore him (unless he's going to hurt himself or break something) but he's caught on to this now and if I ignore him, he will hit me (or my husband or the cat or the dogs). When he hits us or the aniamls, he goes straight to time-out. His behavior has been getting worse and these outburts are happening a lot more frequently. I'm worried if I don't learn how to properly deal with his temper, he's going to think this type of behavior is okay and it will get even worse.

Anyone else having (or had) this problem and have suggestions on how to deal with it?

by on Dec. 31, 2012 at 2:30 PM
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by on Dec. 31, 2012 at 2:40 PM

My brother was like that.  Very aggressive.  While I do not support hitting kids back I will tell you that one day I had had enough.  He was 3 and I was 14.  He picked up a toy and kept hitting me with it.  I tried the same methods my mom uses to get him to stop and he hit me so hard that I started to bleed.  I sat up, punched him hard in the belly and he fell back on to his bottom.  

If I saw a kid that age do that to my kid Id call the cops!  Dont get me wrong im not saying I was some kind of hero but my brother NEVER hurt me again.  I would say he was a teen before he stopped laying hands on other people and my sister and he have gotten into physical fights so bad they both ended up bruised and bleeding.  

It didnt teach him not to hit, but he learned not to hit me!  

by on Dec. 31, 2012 at 2:49 PM
My DS5 hits, I have even told DD8 to hit him back harder, because he bullies her.

When he hits me, DH, DD or one of the pets I put him in time out immediately. Then when time out is over I make him explain to me why he was in time out. It doesn't help, but the punishment is consistent.

The most effective punishment is the entire household freezing him out- DH, DD, and I all saying that we don't like to play with hitters. If he hits us we don't play with him for an hour. It hurts his feelings, but he understands that people don't like being around people they are afraid of.
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by Emerald Member on Dec. 31, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Have you worked on gentle touch and maybe making up faces on paper plates to help him express himself if he does not have the words?  This is age is hard since they want to do so many things but usually do not have the words or know the feelings they have so they lash out.

by on Dec. 31, 2012 at 5:36 PM

He knows gentle touches but I'm going to try stressing it more and act out how his hitting makes me feel. Thanks for the advice!

by on Dec. 31, 2012 at 6:35 PM
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 I have had really good results with all 4 of my kids using the 1-2-3 Magic method.


Hitting - automatic time out. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. 1 minute for every year of age. So a 2 yr old sits in time out for 2 min.


For the running around throwing a fit look at him and say "1 - stop throwing a fit." Give him a minute or so. If he doesn't stop you say "2 - stop throwing a fit." Give him another minute. If he still doesn't stop you say "3 - time out."


Time out means they sit there for the full amount of time. It doesn't start until they sit and if they get up and leave before their time is over, they go right back and the timer starts over. Get a kitchen timer. Set it each time. At 2, you may have to put him there a few times before he gets the point that he has to stay there. He doesn't necessarily have to stand and it doesn't really matter if he messes with things. So if you have a corner that has a toy within reach, let him pick up the toy. The point is to get him to calm down and stop the fit.


When the time is up, kneel down or sit down - get eye level with him and ask him if he's done with the fit/hitting/whatever. If he says no, back in time out. If he says yes, you give him a hug/kiss and let him go back to playing.


The other thing is ...DON'T TALK TO HIM WHILE HE'S IN TIME OUT. Him calling for you is a tactic to try to get out of consequences. He'll apologize. He'll make promises. He'll threaten you even. Ignore it. when he is calm for the allotted amount of time and the timer goes off ...then you talk to him. But while he is under consequences don't interact with him unless it is to put him back into time out.

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