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I need help on Disciplining my almost 3 yrs old!

Posted by on Oct. 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM
  • 6 Replies

Hi, there i am a mom of a 1 and 2 year old. I am having trouble with my 2 years old son on hitting and kicking people. I do not know where he gets it from possibly from daycare. He has been in daycare since may of this year. I believe someone is trigging him to hit like getting into his face or bugging him. He hits his sister but she bugs him. No one hits in this house. I do not believe in spanking and my husband does. I have spanked him before but he just laughs and I tried time outs and that doesnt work. I am running out of ideas. Any tips?

by on Oct. 18, 2012 at 9:15 PM
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by on Oct. 18, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Here is an article I reference a lot in answer to this question:

by on Oct. 18, 2012 at 9:25 PM

On that note, since it's a pretty general article, I know with my son we spent a lot of time having him turn the situation around.  We worked to instill empathy in him by constantly making hin address those he hurts directly, to focus on exactly how he made them feel, how he would feel if he'd been the one hurt, etc.  He's never been physically violent though, not even when he was super small, he's more passive.  But I still stand by it.  I think it's important to remember that what ever you choose to do make it instant (don't do the "when we get home" because too much time can pass), make it clear, keep it realistic and follow through!

by on Oct. 18, 2012 at 9:29 PM
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As a parent of four and a former preschool teacher, I will tell you that this is completely in the realms of normal. Some children have increased issues with hitting because they lack the verbal language to express what they want - this would include not having that want understood. Two year old rooms are a very physical place and the teachers work continuously to help the children express themselves appropriately.

At home, you can try to intervene when you see frustration to prevent hitting, give him the appropriate words to express himself, and model appropriate behavior. Spanking him when he hits reinforces that hitting is what should be done when you don't like something. Typically, the children of spanking parents, in my experience, have hit more.

When he hits, remove him from the situation. Say what you did not like and tell him what to do instead. Then, make him apologize to his victim. It will not change the behavior the first time or the tenth or the thirtieth, but it will eventually.

Cheer up - he could be biting!
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by Silver Member on Oct. 19, 2012 at 2:00 AM

time outs do work, you just cannot give up even if you have to put him back there 100 times, he will give in eventually.  Identify what may be frustrating him because sometimes it is just that he doesnt have the words to express his anger so he hits to express it or he cannot accomplish something, so just make it a little easier for him but dont actually do it for him. 

Time outs--1 minute per year of life, so he is almost 3 then 3 minutes.  give him a warning first and then right to time out.  Explain what he did wrong and why he is being punished for it.  after the 3 minutes again explain what he did wrong have him apologize for it to you or the victim, express your love for him and then hug it out.

Tantrums--ignore, walk away, distract, remove from the situation, do unto others.  Sometimes seeing you throw a tantrum will make them laugh and break the cycle before it gets worse.

by on Oct. 19, 2012 at 5:38 AM

I suggest 123 magic

by on Oct. 19, 2012 at 10:09 AM

this is the hardest thing. I have recently done ALOT of research and soul searching, and I think what is working the best with our boys is a combination of things. We remove/distract when we can. We do time outs - but they have stopped working (I have two boys who are three.)

**The whole thing is about where your kid (s) is developmentally. Two & three year olds dont have a big memory for directions, and they are centered on themselves and their own immediate needs, and they cannot really consider others very easily just yet- they are learning all these skills right now and it will take a couple of years (thats right, YEARS.) They cannot communicate as effectively as they want, so they yell when they are angry,. hit and scratch and lash out when they are frustrated, and when they have a feeling of any kind they take it to the extreme because that is the only place they know to go with it. They do not feel like they have any control of empowerment at all. They want to be independant but often just cannot be, and cannot do what they want to do.

Soooo... what do we do?

Easier said than done, I can tell you. I think the key is to recognize where they are and what they can do, and keep trying to add on to their skills. Teach them words for their feelings and how to express themselves appropriately. We say - I am not listening to you when you whine or yell, use your big boy words and tell me calmly. We say, you look really mad, do you know why you are so upset? What do you want and how can I help? And we say - never hot, hitting and hurting others is not acceptible- tell me what you need and lets figure out how to get what you want some other way.

It is working for us, but it is taking awhile. They are learning that they can trust us to get their needs met (I am not talking about food and love, etc. I am talking about if they want to play with a toy we really do figure out a way to share/take turns/listen so they can play with the toy or do whatever it is they want to do- that kind of thing.)

I know this is long, but it is what I and so many others are going through right now. Everyone has trendy take on it (Love and logic, 123 magic, parenting with respect, etc.) There are books and books, and paid programs that will help. Its all about the same thing to me- respect them, try to understand their needs, and listen, and try to be the adult even when they are making you freeakin nuts and you want to pull all your hair out. Try not to throw tantrums or act childish or have fits your self and that is a big help- they mimic everything! We have to watch that around me house. (Our bad, I know.)

Anyway, best of luck, it does get better. Sending love and happy thoughts and prayers your way.

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