How do you deal with hitting during a fit? — The Bump
Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

How do you deal with hitting during a fit?

I know this has been addressed in the past but I am awful at finding them... DS is 17 months and has been throwing fits for a couple months now (diaper changes, not being able to have remote etc) I just walk away and ignore until I notice his cry changes to sad instead of mad or until it stops. But now he has started hitting me in the face if I have him when his fit starts (and once the dog). I have read conflicting things to do. If I am upstairs I put him on "timeout" in his crib, downstairs, on our mudroom rug... I also grab his hand as he tries to hit and say firmly "we do not hit"... give 1 chance and then time out. But I am also reading on line they are still to young for time outs. I let him sit alone until his cry/tone changes and then go comfort him and his hitting and mood has stopped... but most of the time he sits there briefly and then goes to play happily. I don't do the "timeouts" for the fits, just for hitting. Thoughts??


Re: How do you deal with hitting during a fit?

  • We did timeouts for tantrums with hitting, and it stopped the behavior within a week. You just need to be consistant and firm-if LO hits you, they do in the crib for timeout. End of story.
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  • hway24hway24 member
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    We just started using time-outs for hitting. I read conflicting things too, and tried everything else but nothing worked for the hitting, and it was getting out of control, it started where he'd hit when he was mad but then he started just hitting people for no reason. At DS's 18 month appt, our pedi told us to start using time-outs for behaviors we needed to stop, like hitting, and she said that he is old enough to understand everything you're telling them and to understand simple rules. And that definitely seems to be true, atleast for my DS. She said the general rule is they can sit 30 sec for every 6 months, so at 18 mo time-out should be no longer than 90 sec. We've been doing about a min each time.

    We've been doing it for about a week, and there's already been a huge difference. When he hits, I look at him and say "No, we don't hit, that hurts, if you hit again you have to go in time out" and after a few time-outs he seemed to figure it out, and now after I tell him he'll go in time-out he doesn't hit again. He's also stopped hitting alot less. So, I recommend trying it. 

    ETA: Just wanted to add, we don't use the crib for time-out either, I don't want him to associate that with punishment, and the pedi agreed with that. I've been using a dining room chair, I pull it to the center of the kitchen where he can't reach anything and sit him in it. He screams, but stays in the chair, if he starts to climb down, I set him back down and tell him he has to stay there a little longer 

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