Anyone have any advice for helping a toddler to stop hitting? I know its developmental, and I'm glad he only does it at home and not at the sitter's, but I want it to stop. Timeouts aren't doing it...what have you tried?
Have pride in how far you've come; have faith in how far you'll go.
What I did when my toddlers went through the hitting phase:
I'd catch the child's hand and hold hit firmly, but not aggressively. Then I'd get down on his level, look him right in the eye, put on my serious face and quietly, but sternly tell him "no". I found that lowering the actual pitch of my voice worked better than my normal voice. Then I'd just hold his hand/s for an extra second, essentially staring him down.
I never had to do it to any kid more than 3 or 4 times.
Actually, this came up recently with a friend of mine. Her grandson was horrible about hitting. I did that to him a couple of times and nipped it in the bud. He still tried it with her, but she copied what I did and he stopped within 10 days with her as well. I've had pretty good luck with that method.
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I agree, get down on his level and say no. I also say, "We use soft touches" while rubbing their hand sofly on my arm. We talk about how to treat friend all the time and read books too. Like, wow Minnie was so nice to Mickey, she helped him (whatever), we can be nice like Minnie and help (whatever). DH and I both read 1-2-3 Magic and I think it is a discipline book. I have had several friends that liked Parenting with Love and Logic and I use some of the techniques, but when we started having behavior problems my son did not want any part of the making choices, even when they were good, and it was all way over his head.
I guess I am old school my Idea is to take away the time he could interact with me so it was time out.
My stepdaughters had terrible table manors, my wife did not think that was bad (one of our first fights) so I asked my mom how she handled me with table manors? She told me she would just take her plate and eat in the other room, my dad who was real old school had to bite his lip (mom was in charge) and on the second display of bad table manors my dad would get up and join my mom. I learned quickly if I wanted to be with my parents I had to eat right.
The same thing happened with my stepdaughters, it took about one week.
I'm A Curmudgeon with Panache
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Retired Shop teacher, 35 years
Hit him back............... oops that is what we are trying to stop
get a small chair put in a corner and do timeout like Dennis the Menace
When I was about 4 I got really mad at my mom and I bit her. HARD. She bit me back (not hard enough to draw blood, but enough to hurt). I never did it again.
However, I understand that everyone may not agree with that. I would probably talk with my son as basic as possible since he's so young and say things like, "Hitting hurts. Mommy doesn't like it."
I would also be a super strict enforcer of timeouts. Whenever I watch super nanny that's what she does, constantly put the child in time when they even display a hint of the undesired behavior.
I might also try and teach the different between "soft" hits and "hard hits" using a stuffed animal. You know, hit the toy hard and say, "That makes Benny Bunny sad. It hurts him." Then pat him soft and said, "See how happy Benny is."
Finding the root of the hitting. Does he do it just because or is it when he doesn't like something? Maybe a phrase or word t oreplace it. It could either be a serious word/phrase like, "Stop!/I don't like that!" or a silly word like, "Pink Finks!"