Attachment Parenting

Hitting

My 2.5 year old son is a hitter. Not very often, but he will swing at me or pull my hair in frustration if he doesn't get what he wants. I'd say it happens once a week, give or take. We don't spank him, we do use time-out for 2 minutes and we always talk to him about what he did wrong and how to use his words, etc. He talks pretty well, so it's not that we don't understand him. He just gets angry if he doesn't get what he wants.

Just please someone tell me that they have a hitter too. We've been "attachment parents" from the start and it's embarrassing and depressing to see our child with violent behavior.  Everything I read tells me that teaching kids to be "independent" causes them to be violent, not attachment. It's just frustrating and embarrassing (did I mention that?!).

 Anyone else?

Re: Hitting

  • My kid is "violent", too. Or perhaps I should say impulsive lol.

    Here's what we work on:
    1) If it's out of anger, I stop her and ask her what she can do when she's angry, and suggest stomping, or hitting something appropriate like a pillow, or saying "I'm ANGRY!"
    2) If it's not out of anger, ior if it was but 1 calmed her, I ask her to show me gentle hands (and demonstrate).
    3) If she isn't calm, I ask her to take a break with me and breathe to calm.

    4) If she is still hitting, I hold her hands and tell her I have to protect myself from her hands since she can't use them gently right now.

    Of course not all of this happens at any given moment and I try to get to the root cause instead of doing all of the above, but it seems to be helping. Sometimes now she'll hit, kind of gasp, then touch gently, for which I praise. Also, if it seems to be from sheer impulsiveness, I tell her if she feels the tingly feeling to use her words and hit a pillow or spin circles instead.
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  • Everything Fred said, and.... 

    My little guy isn't that age yet, but the family I was a nanny for 4 years for, had the same problem.  They honestly are the best parents I've ever witnessed and very AP. 

    1. Their son grew out of it, and is the kindest, sweetest, kid in his class (he's 8 now).  So remember this is a phase and doesn't define who your child is going to be in the future.

    2. Try using sign language, for stop, help, or anything else that might help replace frustration with a sign.  We taught Max to say and sign stop when another kid was annoying him or making him angry.  This gave him something to "do" with his hands beside hit the kid (or us).

    3.  Continue with encouraging your child to use their words, time outs, etc.  We called time outs, cool offs, the goal was to teach him to take a cool off without needing to be directed by an adult.... it eventually worked.

    Just be consistent and patient, GL

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  • ::jotting down Fred & C's advice for future reference::
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  • I hope you realize that every little kid goes through the same phase, whether their parents are AP or not.  Hitting, biting, hair pulling, and tantrums will hit every parent.  Some get it worse than others depending on their child's temperament. 

    What defines you as a parent is not how well-behaved your child is during each phase, but how you choose to handle each developmental stage.  There are parents who range from doing nothing to hitting their kid back.  

    Sounds like you are doing something about the hitting.  Just make sure when you put him in TO that you don't give him an angry or impulsive reaction.  That usually eggs kids on since they like knowing they pushed your buttons. 

    Hopefully this phase ends soon for you!

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  • Thank you all for your advice! I feel better now and yes, I do need to be cautious of my angry reactions to his hitting. I get frustrated and honestly, I take offense to it. I will keep my cool. Thank you!
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