Friday, November 5, 2010

It Sounds Like A Hit

Will has been doing a lot of hitting lately. He hits the dog, his friends, and me. I'd say his friends get most of the hitting, but he will also hit me if I do something that he dislikes (like turn off "Caillou").

We've done stern "NO HITTING" talking-to's, timeouts ad nauseum, and leaving the playdate. Just when I feel as if we are making some progress, he has a total regression and has a hitapalooza at the next playdate. I am at my wit's end with this hitting because I don't want him to be "that kid," you know the one that you don't want to have over because he whales on your kid. And even worse, then I become the "parent of that kid," you know the one that you think should do something about the hitting. In the spirit of complete honesty, playdates are as much for me as they are for him, it's my socialization, too!

While I recognize that this (like pretty much all issues-remember the Great Bite of 2009?) too shall pass, I am looking for advice on how to make it pass sooner. Or at least how to consistently address it while it is happening.


Rebecca said...

If you get any good ideas from this post, please share. We are constantly working on this in our house (lovely when you have 2 at the same developmental level who love to copy each other). The only thing that has worked for me at all is giving a time-out and then calmly discussing the action after that. I bring up a time that said child was hit and how they felt and then how it's "not nice" and have them apologize.

Nonetheless, they're still hitting.

alison said...

B apparently only hits j and I - he doesn't seem to do it at daycare at all (which is sort of confusing to me, but something I'm thankful for). He doesn't hit grandparents or cousins or his friends when we're around them either. But woe, when either j or I do something to his dismay, he'll usually start smacking whatever part of us is easily reachable to him. Every once in a great while, he'll bite us too. I try to border on not making a big deal about it (so he doesn't do it MORE for attention) while also letting him know that it's NOT ok. He always gets timeout after he hits (oddly enough, the only thing he goes to TO for is hitting and throwing his toys, he's a good kid otherwise :) - usually he's in timeout for 1-2 minutes. He always sits there and rarely gets up until we come to him. I get down at his level and say "Brecken we don't hit! It's not Ok!" - I then get him up and ALWAYS make him give me a squeeze, I don't know if it helps, but I figure we need to follow up the bad action with a loving one.

I think mainly the goal is to get them to redirect their frustration into a different channel. They're allowed to be frustrated, but I'm not really sure how to convey that to a 1 year old. Like, "let's take a deep breath and count to 10" doesn't really work. Brecken is verbal but not super understandable so he gets irritated when we don't know what he wants... I hope as his communication improves this hitting thing will diminish. Good luck!

Mommy Shoes said...

If he responds to lessons from books, I recommend "Hands are Not for Hitting." We are working on hitting issues here as well.

Mel said...

First of all, Calliou makes me want to hit stuff. (I can't stand that kid)

Secondly, my BFF is going through this with her son right now. He's 4 and in his second year of mother's day out. He occasionally hit his mom and his little sister at home (which was easily managed by time outs) but now all of the sudden, out of the blue, he is hitting other kids at "school." She is really stressed out about it, especially since these kids have parents she sees every Sunday. They find that they best approach is daddy doing most of the actual punishing (a male authority position, of sorts) and they will take favorite toys away and such. She talks to him whenever he acts out and lets him know it was wrong and that daddy is going to sit him down when he gets home. Spankings are VERY rare for them. On the flip side, he gets rewarded for being good. On good days, he gets a "cupcake party" or a special date with daddy to get ice cream. I think a lot of kids go through this phase, especially boys, and the best remedy is maturity and time. In between, it's just managing the outbursts.

Jen said...

We've had problems with Jillian and hitting off and on. She has also been imitating us telling the dog not to do things, so I try to watch myself when she is awake.

My general approach with hitting has been to ignore the behavior and re-directing. Telling her no just means we're paying attention to it and she does it more.

Good luck. I know it is frustrating!!!

HereWeGoAJen said...

Oh, I don't know. It'd be hard to do, but maybe you could try ignoring him when he does it. It sounds like you've already tried all the typical stuff. When he hits you or the dog, maybe try ignoring. You probably can't let him hit his friends with no consequences (unless you are really good friends with the parents, I'd probably let him hit Elizabeth for you), so in that case, maybe you should try turning him to face the wall, holding his arms to his side, and kind of giving him a time out, but without any talking, attention, or eye contact. My best guess would be that he's doing this for negative attention, you know, with all the sharing of attention he's had to do lately.

Oh, and at our playdate today, Elizabeth's friend was having a hard time being gentle (hitting, pushing, kicking, etc.) so after time outs didn't work, his mom dressed him up in a Superman costume because, you know, superheros are kind and they don't hit. It worked. He's a bit older though, so Will might need a couple more months for that to sink in.

Searching said...

No new advice, just wanted to say it will be in my prayers! I know he is a GOOD kid and you are a GOOD mom and he has a GOOD family, so Will is not some tyrant. The phase will pass, so praying you get through it and he still has friends at the end! (He will!)

Anonymous said...

Find friends with more aggressive kids who will hit him back - ha! Seriously, though, kids are kids and it will pass. Sounds like you're already doing everything right! Oh and I enjoy playdates more than my kids I think... and make it a habit to hang out with laid-back moms who won't ever think of me as "that parent"... even if I have "that kid." :)