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How do you teach a 2 year old boy not to hit?!?!?!

Posted by on Dec. 26, 2009 at 3:14 PM
  • 2 Replies

I've been trying for a while now to teach my 2 year old boy not to hit without success. Today he slapped me in the face when I was holding him after I told him No he couldn't get in the front seat of the car to play. I've tried everything short of hitting/spanking him back, which I'm morally opposed to so I won't go there, even if it does work. I usually try to catch his arm before he hits me, or I grab his arm right afterwards and I say We don't hit, or I don't like to be hit! Today's hit came after a morning of fussiness and I just lost it...I yelled at him, I pointed my finger in his face and told him I don't ever want to be hit like that again, really screaming at him. Of course he started bawling and didn't let up for some time. I put him in his dark room and shut the door and I didn't interact with him for a few minutes, despite his apologies and following me around and laying down at my feet (it was so sad looking). I don't know what else to do! I've tried talking with him, telling him how disappointed I am that he hits. Today I said I guess I'm a bad mom since I can't teach him not to hit. I've tried teaching him anger management techniques like stomping his foot, or breathing deep, or just saying I'm MAD!! But he doesn't do it. I can see the anger well up in him and he releases it by hitting, but I don't know how to get him to use other methods of expression. I'm at a loss! I'm worried that I'm just going to keep yelling/screaming at him, and that models yelling/screaming so he'll start doing that too! But I get so exasperated and his hitting causes me to lose my temper. Typically I take him away from whatever fun thing we're doing after he hits, then we sit in a darkened room while he calms down. Today I sat him in there alone, which I usually don't do, and of course he walked right out. I don't want to damage him emotionally or break his spirit by always yelling at him to where he feels really badly about what he did, but then again I also don't want him to keep hitting and maybe feeling badly about it is a good thing? I don't want him to think I don't love him if I scold him strongly. He always seems so contrite and sorry afterwards, then I feel like a ham for continuing to scold him, but some days are just so stressful otherwise, my patience is thin. Any tips, advice?

by on Dec. 26, 2009 at 3:14 PM
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lovinmykiddo07
by Bronze Member on Dec. 26, 2009 at 3:16 PM

Tell him what he CAN hit. Tell him its not nice & he hurts you when he hits you. Give him something that he CAN take his frustration out on. If my son tries to hit me I'll take him to the couch & give him a pillow & let him have at it.


mamalinzie
by on Dec. 26, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Keep in mind that at his age, he lacks impulse control. You may have to repeat over and over that we do not hit, hitting hurts. When you are mad, use your words to tell me. DD learned very young the phrase "Im so very mad right now." It has really helped her a lot.

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