Well, this is new. My son is 17 months old and sometimes hits. He does it either when excited (play time) or frustrated (if I have to take something away). We have been making a lot of progress with me (or my husband) holding his hands and repeating firmly "no hitting". If we have to repeat it twice in a row (we let go of his hands and he hits again) we say "I am not going to play with you when you hit" and walk away for a few minutes. This has been working well and the behaviour has improved. On two or three occasions now I have been holding him and had to hold his hands because he hit. So while I am holding his hands the little monkey has head butted me in the face. It hurts. I tried a time out chair, but he likes sitting in his chair and it really hasn't done anything. Mind you, I have only tried it on the head butting occasions. We don't hit him and when we are holding his hands it certainly isn't hard enough to cause any pain so I don't think it's that. Not sure how to handle this. Suggestions? And where would he get this from? Is it something babies his age typically do? I was super shocked.
This happens a lot and the only solution is ignoring it,even by holding his hands it is making a game of it, so next time he tries to do it, firmly say no and look displeased and walk away , don't go straight back as long as you can see him he's okay, you could try a time out somewhere other than the chair he likes as I agree that wont work.He is getting too much feedback about it so say No walk away and nothing else.He will get out of it is normal behavior mostly from little boys who are about to talk...
I would try a different time out spot that doesn't have anything around for him to enjoy. When I have to put Greydon in time out, he goes to a specified corner and sits on the floor. There is nothing there he can play with or climb or enjoy--it's just a corner and he has to sit there for one minute.
He's getting well acquainted with that corner, lol. His issue isn't head butting but he also is going through a phase where he's hitting, pinching, and most recently, making extremely defiant screeches in what can only be described as "backtalk," lol. Being physical with their anger, frustrations, and even just having fun is a normal way of expressing themselves at this age, so the head butting Ryder is doing doesn't sound like anything you need to be concerned about in and of itself--just be sure he's getting effective discipline if he does it so he learns not to hurt others or himself.
THanks for the feedback ladies. It is true that holding his hands does often make him laugh so your right, I think he is looking at it as a game. As soon as I let go he often hits me again. I will change my strategy there. He hates it when I walk away and don't play with him, so I will go straight to that for a few minutes. I will also try to change the timeout corner. I like the idea of sitting on the floor in the corner. Someone else had told me to use his crib, but I don't want him to have a negative association with going to bed so didn't feel comfortable about that. Getting him to bed and sleep is already a struggle, so I try to make that an enjoyable time for him. Rule of thumb on timeouts is a minute per year of age correct?
My biggest concern is he will do this to another child so I do want to nip it in the bud right away. I tell you, for me this discipline issue is tough. I want to be firm but not frighten him. I very much appreciate both answers. Thanks again.
Yes, the time out rule is one minute per year of age.
I'd recommend not holding his hands when he hits, or even walking away, but rather give him one warning--"Do not hit. It's not nice. You will go to time out if you hit again."
Then follow through.
This is working wonderfully with Greydon. He understands it perfectly. When I say the words "time out," he looks at his corner, or in the direction of his corner, and I'd say eight out of ten times he stops his bad behavior right then. If I do have to take him to time out, I tell him, "You do not hit. That hurts. You are going to time out."
I sit him down and walk away. He stays there because he's tested me enough to know that if he crawls out of the corner, he gets put right back and the process takes much longer to complete. It didn't take him very long at all to figure that one out!
Disciplining this way shows an immediate consequence that is more direct. Walking away is immediate as well, but isn't quite as direct. With time out, he gets the consequence of going where he doesn't want to be AND you walking away (though not far, obviously...I usually don't even leave the room. I just go sit on the couch across the room and do not talk to him unless it's to say, "Ah ah, stay there.")
After time out is over, kneel down to tell him, "Hitting is not nice. That hurts. Can you tell me sorry and give me snuggles?"
Procede with hugs and snuggles and move on. :-)
Thanks! I will try it tonight. Question...at his daycare they don't use timeouts. They only use diversion. I have tried that with Ryder and quite frankly it doesn't work anymore. Do you think the inconsistancy in dealing with it at home vs. daycare will be problematic? I am definately going to work on the time out at home. I will admit the few times I have done it I feel so guilty. I know, discipline is important, but I find it difficult. If only they weren't so darned cute!! lol
I think consistency at home and daycare is important. My daycare does time outs in almost the same fashion I do them at home. I don't know how the inconsistency will affect Ryder...kids are smart though. I'm sure he knows the difference between home and daycare and what is expected of his behavior in both places, and the consequences he'll face. It doesn't take kids long to learn--they're little sponges!
Had to update and let you know how it went. Last night the little monkey hit me in the face. So, I told him time out, and put him sitting on the floor in the corner. He immediately got up, I put him back. I guess he finally sorted out he had to stay there, and it was tantrum time. I let him have his tantrum, picked him up to hug him, and he hit me again. Back to time out. Basically did this 4 or 5 times in a row. I'm going to tell you that I found it super stressful. I felt like the meanest mom in the world. However, I know I have to follow through, so we kept it up. Tonight he head butted, and when I put him in time out and he got up to leave, I did exactly as you said...pointed and said nope, you need to stay there. We got through the whole minute. When I picked him up after his minute was over, he snuggled in for a good long cuddle. He sure was upset about it though..does not like it one bit. I'm going to keep up with it...I hate it more then he does, but I know I can't have him hitting and head butting either. Thanks for the tips!!
Anytime, and glad to hear it's gone so well, even though it is stressful. But be assured, it gets much easier pretty quickly. When I first started putting Greydon in time out, it was the same scenario as you went through for the first few days. Now all I have to do is sit him down there and say, "You're in time out. Stay here."
He cries, screams, kicks his legs, etc. but he stays there. Lately, he's not even putting up much of a fight about it anymore; he just sits there and cries for the minute he's there. It's at the point now where I can even leave the room for even the whole minute (go to the next room over--there's a semi-open wall between so it's not like I'm "leaving him") and he'll stay put. When it's over, he really looks forward to the snuggles. He throws himself into my arms with a smile through the tears and hugs me tight, snuggles a minute or so, then goes on his merry way and all is well. :-)
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