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child hitting
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child hitting

My dd is 2 1/2 years old and she started hitting. Time out seems to work sometimes. She knows that she's not suppose to hit yet sometimes she hits not even 2 minutes later. It's frustrating. I'm watching my niece 3 days a week now and they're the same age and sometimes they fight like cats and dogs.
Does anyone have any good parenting tips? I am very consistant on time out. But with watching my niece it seems like now I have to put her in time out more.
What should I do?
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Avatar_n_tn
Just keep going with the time outs, and I like to explain in very mature terms what the child has done wrong - they seem to understand the gravity of what they have done when they are spoken to like big people.  Not watching your niece will not help the situation.  It is good for your dd to learn what is socially acceptable at a younge age -0 when she gets to school she will be that much better adjusted, and it is a great gift to her that she wil have  a cousin she has spent so much time with.  2 is the hitting age, if you are consistant with the time outs, it should stop soon.  Good luck!!
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159354_tn?1286371288
My dd went thru it in Aug right after she turned 2....but she would only hit dh and i...no kids...just her parents go figure.

I did time outs for two days...then I did resort to spankings.  But not spankings in the heat of the moment because all that would do is show her hitting is okay...I would put her in time out but (in her room) complete isolation and then go up in 10 minutes ask her to explain why she is there....then explain that she needed a spanking.  She cried, I cried....but it didn't hurt her...one little swat on the butt with a diaper on.

Two spankings later she never hit either one of us again.

I know most parents do not agree with spankings today but I agree with most of that too...however there is a time for it and if discussed properly kids do understand the difference between a spanking and hitting.
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Avatar_f_tn
My niece is going through this right now.  She's only 17 months and she's gotten into the habit of hitting her parents.  She doesn't do it with other children yet but I'm afraid she might start soon.  My sister has tried the firm voice and frowning to let her know that it's not ok.  So far, it has not worked.  She starts laughing as if my sister's playing with her. I posted the same question a few weeks ago.  I'm curious to read the responses hoping I'll learn something new.
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171768_tn?1324233699
hi guys. i am a teacher and have worked with kids ages 2 to 5. i know things are very different in a school setting, but i thought i would share what works for me at work in hopes of maybe giving you some ideas.
first of all, you should make consequences logical. if a child hits someone, teach her to check and see if the child is ok and to find a way to help him feel better. with time, the child sees the immediate impact of her actions and begins to learn empathy. this is not accomplished by removing the child from the situation. (of course, time-out can be very helpful as a calming-down period for the child). i have taught the children to ask, "are you ok?." most often the victim answers no. i encourage the victim to verbalize how they feel. we then expect the child who hit to ask what she can do to help the other child feel better. as they get older, the responses get more creative. often, the hurt child will ask for an icepack, a hug, an appology, or the toy they were fighting over. this gives the child who hit an opportunity to correct the situation. logical consequences are often carried further as well. if you hit because you want the computer, you lose the priviledge of playing on the computer until you show you can listen.
i know this sounds idealistic, but it has worked in classrooms of 15 kids, and we have seen our share of difficult children. it is not an instant fix... it takes time to learn these social skills and develop these internal controls and empathy. behaving because you fear time-out doesn't develop internal controls. seeing and understanding the impacts of your actions does. isolating the child will not teach these skills. of course, this works children who have verbal skills.

a note about spanking- i was spanked and turned out fine. (obviously it's not an option at work!!!). however, we have noticed that children who are spanked often tend to be more aggressive than other children. (just some food for thought).
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177988_tn?1266802499
I think that showing the child clear emotion and disappointment can sometimes be the best solution.  Spanking at 2... it's a good debate.  I mean I would not see it as abuse assuming it is not too hard and doesn't leave marks.  Some children don't react to it though. I remember being young and would rather take the spanking over the grounding anyday of hte week. But that is an older age.  When I was very young, a firm spanking and being sent to my room was torture and enough to make me not want to misbehave anymore.  I was a pretty good kid, lol.
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147172_tn?1226761778
I'm sorry and I don't want anyone to take offense to this but I don't understand the idea of spanking a child to teach them that hitting is wrong.  If you're using that as alast resort it's out of frustration. Adults shouuld find another way to instruct children as to behave.
Your daughter is 2.  2 year olds do that.  It just seems to me, and this is my personal opinion, that talking to her repeatedly might be better. I'msure it'll pass.
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162331_tn?1390022267
Undisciplined children grow up to be undisciplined adults.  That is why society is the way it is.   I say ditto to what Deanne11 said. There is a difference between spanking and hitting.   We are not talking about beating the child.  But if you have raised children, you know that you can talk yourself until you are blue in the face.  That doesn
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147172_tn?1226761778
I truly didn't mean to start a debate and I said it was just my opinion.  I just think there has to be a better way.
No one talked about not using discipline and I also never said she was hitting or beating the child either.
I was just giving an opinion so again, I hope no one takes offense.
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Avatar_n_tn
Tiredbuthappy- I applaud your excellent advice!  I teach parenting classes and your advice is in perfect syncronism with the curriculum I use.

Remember that hitting is a normal part of child development and it usually begins around age 2.  Knowing this, try to be patient with your child.  Check the basics to ensure that your child's needs are being met...is s/he tired?  Hungry?  Overwhelmed?  Unable to express herself?  Once you've identified the source of the hitting, try to talk with your child...promote empathy...try to help your child relate by reminding him of a situation when he was hurt in the past and how that made him feel (this will be more effective as the child gets older).  Make it clear that hitting is unacceptable and explain why.

Discipline = teaching.  The ultimate goal of discipline is to teach our children to discipline themselves and develop self discipline and independent thinking.  When you consider which discipline approach to use, consider the following:  What do I want my child to learn from this experience?  Is the discipline tactic I'm using helping my child learn this lesson?  Will my discipline approach negatively affect my child?  And if so, what is a different approach that I can use?

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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks everyone!
I love the advice!
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Avatar_n_tn
what I do is first I put my hand over my dd or ds, then slap my own hand.  They are two and three, and that usually makes them cry.  Its the noise and the fact that I am upset.  If that doesnt work, I will swat them on the butt lightly.  It doesnt hurt any more than the hand, but they cry and say sorry all the same.  Also, just a word of advice.  I would ignore the woman who posted that she "doesnt understand hitting kids".  She often involves herself in discussions, negates everything anyone has said, and proceeds to tell everyone that they are wrong.  She is obviously very controlling and I have had a few run ins with her prebiously.  She likes to start fights.  Then she says something like "but whatever you do is fine" at the end, and acts all insulted if someone calls her out on her inappropriate chat etiquite.  She must not have been swatted enough as a child!!:):)
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171768_tn?1324233699
my coursework for my certification required me to take a parenting class. what a wealth of knowledge! i went into that class knowing a lot from both experience and other classes, but still learned soo much (and i wasn't even a parent). a good parenting class can not only teach you great effective tips, but it also teaches you about child temperaments and helps you understand why children behave the way they do. Plus, the information i learned is applied to all the different children i work with... from the "angels" to those who are a bit more challenging. i highly recommend a parenting class to everyone out there.
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147172_tn?1226761778
I'm not starting a debate but I did some reading and found this on Dr. Sears' website:

Spanking demonstrates that it's all right for people to hit people, and especially for big people to hit little people, and stronger people to hit weaker people. Children learn that when you have a problem you solve it with a good swat. A child whose behavior is controlled by spanking is likely to carry on this mode of interaction into other relationships with siblings and peers, and eventually a spouse and offspring.

But, you say, "I don't spank my child that often or that hard. Most of the time I show him lots of love and gentleness. An occasional swat on the bottom won't bother him." This rationalization holds true for some children, but other children remember spanking messages more than nurturing ones. You may have a hug-hit ratio of 100:1 in your home, but you run the risk of your child remembering and being influenced more by the one hit than the 100 hugs, especially if that hit was delivered in anger or unjustly, which happens all too often.

Physical punishment shows that it's all right to vent your anger or right a wrong by hitting other people. This is why the parent's attitude during the spanking leaves as great an impression as the swat itself. How to control one's angry impulses (swat control) is one of the things you are trying to teach your children. Spanking sabotages this teaching. Spanking guidelines usually give the warning to never spank in anger. If this guideline were to be faithfully observed 99 percent of spanking wouldn't occur, because once the parent has calmed down he or she can come up with a more appropriate method of correction.
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159354_tn?1286371288
Thanks for the post.  While my dd was not hit in frustration or anger I do believe that what the Dr said in that quote is right.

After giving time to think about it I didn't want to do it.  But I honestly felt I had to because I had told her she'd get a spanking.....uggghhh...

I took some advice from the board .  I did it.  It worked.  But I hated it and never will do it again.

My dd is so wonderful and she remembers it...but she talks to me about it, which I think is good.

But I do have a question for others out there...can daycare teachers spank children?  My dd keeps telling me that one little boy in her class gets spankings?

I thought there was a law against that?  Is that in every state?
Could it just be a 2 yr old saying things?  I don't want anyone laying their hands on my child?  I just don't know what to do?  Go to the director of the center?
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152852_tn?1205717026
ITA with girlybuff.

And "not spanking" is not synonymous with "not disciplining".

Regarding the effects of spanking, that depends on the child, imo.  My sister, brother, and I were all spanked.  My sister usually cried, groveled and hung on my mom's leg, begging her not to hit her (and that often worked).  My brother would take his spanking and cuddle with my mom on the sofa five minutes later.  I would grit my teeth and mutter, "That didn't hurt." so I got it again, and again, and again, until I finally broke and cried.  It had much more of an emotional effect on me than a physical one.  I remember feeling like I hated my mom at times as a child.

As adults, my sister doesn't remember getting spanked at all (but she did, I remember her getting it).  My brother says, "Yeah, I got it--I was a brat and deserved it."  And I get very emotional just thinking about it.  It affected me in a very bad way.

It affected all three of us very differently.  My sister was a pleaser, my brother was impulsive, but very forgiving (and was probably spanked the most out of all of us) and I was very stubborn and strong-willed.  That's why I won't repeat this mistake with my strong-willed child.

I just think that if thousands of daycares across the country can control hundreds of thousands of 2 yos without spanking them, then there truly are better alternatives.  JMHO, mind you.

Regarding the original question...I honestly think that at 2, most kids just do this.  They are very impulsive and that's a developmental thing, not an intentional or deliberate thing.  When they mature a bit, they will get it and be able to stop themselves.  In the meantime, you need to do what you feel comfortable doing and I think the consistent time outs are a good option.
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159354_tn?1286371288
i just want to say i did spank my dd, twice.  never have again.  it was NOT out of frustration as we both took time to think about what happened before the spanking was delivered.

i was torn about what to do and came here....by most advice i received here everyone basically thought it was okay.....i now have done it and have had 2nd thoughts.

my child was not hurt physically....her pride was hurt....i don't know.  i'm still learning....dd is only 2.

all i'm saying is that it worked....whether i agree with it or not, i don't know.  i don't want to ever do it again....that's all i do know.

it was more emotional for me than for her i think.
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147172_tn?1226761778
Hi.  I am in no way an expert.  My daughter is only 5 months old.  I have to admit though that when I taught kindergarten, those kids were nuts and I really wanted to slap some of them on the arse a few times BUT I didn't because I couldn't and somehow I managed.  I only hope I can take that attitude with my own child.  When you can't you HAVE to find another way, which is what I pray I am able to do when the time comes.
As far as day care centers well, I know that they are state regulated IF they are licensed and MOST states ban corporal punishment but I would check with your own state legislature and see.  Now, if you just have a baysitter, I think it needs to be discussed before your child enters their care.
:)
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159354_tn?1286371288
I certainly am no expert either....that's why I took advice from here...and it worked...but I hated it.  It's funny, because before I was expecting and during my pregnancy I swore I believed in spankings....Both dh and I grew up in homes where spankings were okay and none of the six children have anger or violence issues....it was just the way it was.  Then out came my little princess and I said 'absolutely no way will I spank her'....then at 2 nothing worked, time outs didn't work, taking toys didn't work (she isn't allowed TV so that wasn't an issue)....so I came here and got advice.

And more power to those people who gave it....my child never hit me or dh again.  She is always very sweet and caring to other kids...never once hit or bit a child....but has been hit and bit several times.....all her teachers say she is too good natured....so I don't believe my two spankings have thrusted her into a world of violence and anger.

And to this day she knows that spankings worked....She says she will never hit me again....and I'm sorry mommy.

As for the daycare....She is registerd in a state licensed center so I better check with the state and the director of the center.  I won't have a private care giver because of those fears....I have a hard time trusting people with my dd.....She's been in 2 daycares and the first month of each, I cried myself to sleep all the time because I wasn't sure how they were treating her.....Having kids is tough on the heart.
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147172_tn?1226761778
It IS tough. I don't have to work now and I am SO GRATEFUL but before I knew I could stay home and I was working (I'm a paralegal and I worked long long hours) I used to freak out about who I was going to leave her with.  My parents both work and I didn't want to go to daycare because you hear such horror stories.
The only advice I can give is to let them know you will stop by from time to time for unexpected visists, talk to other parents and your child.  
I will not leave her all day long with anyone until she is able to tell me what's going on.
I am truly blessed to be able to stay home and I thank nGod (and my husband) every day for it.
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159354_tn?1286371288
I think that is why I'm having a hard time too....I stayed home with her the first year of her life....letting go was hard.

And I do drop by unexpectedly at the daycare....never tell them when I have appts or half days...just pop in for her.

Now that she talks it's much better and she tells me who she likes and who she doesn't like...LOL
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147172_tn?1226761778
I think as parents we just have to do ALL we can and then pray very very hard.  
Keeping the lines of communication open and your child will hopefully feel safe enough to share it with you.
Best of luck to you guys......
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