WWYD: Punishment for Hitting? — The Bump
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WWYD: Punishment for Hitting?

J is in a hitting phase right now & I have no idea what to do for punishment, so I'm looking for some help.

This is what we are currently doing: if he hits someone who's holding him, then he gets told "no hitting" & gets put down (the child would be held all day if someone would do it, so this is a big punishment for him). Now he's gotten into hitting the dog & other stuff, like his toys. Obviously I don't want him hitting the dog, so I'll stop him, grab his hands firmly & sternly say "No hitting". I usually try to throw something in there about how hands are for loving or whatever. His toys I don't really care about, but I'm almost unsure if I should let him hit them or stop him b/c I'm not sure he'll understand the difference b/w what's OK & not OK to hit.

We don't mind popping his hands/leg for correction (not that we've really done that much yet), but I think it would definitely send the wrong message in this situation. Actually, this phase has made me totally rethink my view on spanking/popping. Ugh...any suggestions?? 

Re: WWYD: Punishment for Hitting?

  • So far, Maddie is more of a pincher than a hitter, but what works for us is telling her to be gentle. We've taught her how to "be gentle" by rubbing her hand on whatever she was pinching. I think it helps that instead of telling her NOT to do something, we are telling her what to do instead of pinching.

    She still pinches occasionally (oddly enough, she usually pinches herself more than anything else), but it's rare now and after she does it we usually don't even have to tell her- she immediately rubs whatever she pinched gently, or gives it a kiss.

    Also, teaching her how to gently hug and kiss the dogs has helped how she treats them tremendously. She LOVES to give the dogs hugs and kisses so much that she rarely mistreats them anymore.  She played with a dog at the tree farm we visited over Thanksgiving and I was so proud of how gentle she was.

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  • C went through a brief hitting stage, and we would grab his hands and hold them for about 15 seconds after we told him no hitting.  He hated not being able to move for that period of time.  As he's gotten older we've been using a quick no hitting.  hitting hurts and then  showing him what to do when he's mad.  I demonstrate what I think appropriate mad behavior is and have him mimic me.  (we tell him to stomp and clap his hands and say "I'M MAD!!!")  It has really helped him to know he can display anger or frustration without hitting.
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  • Well, spanking him in this instance is probably not a good idea! I know some people will slap their hands when they hit but isn't that completely contradictory?!  haha

    We did and still do spank and pop Chloe, but when she was little when she would hit we would hold her hands and be very firm with her about "no hitting". When she did other things we needed a bigger punishment for we spanked her. She never confused hitting and spanking, thank goodness.

     Good luck! It's tough at that age! 

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  • When Ben would hit, we'd do what you did - tell him no hitting and put him down.  We also did the gentle thing - especially with the animals.  I don't remember if Ben hit his toys, but we did let him hit or bang on our foot stool.  It made it into a game.  It was okay to hit that, but not okay to hit other things, and he did understand.

    If we were playing and he hit - we'd correct with "no hitting." if he did it again, I would walk away for a while.  That way he got the correlation, that if he hits me, I'm not playing with him.  We didn't pop his leg when he was hitting - we felt like it would send the wrong message.

  • I'm not sure about the hitting, since we haven't really been through that phase yet, but I agree with teaching him to be gentle with the pets.  We've always corrected Liam and showed him how to "pet nicely" on the animals, and when he gets rough, if we tell him no and ask him to pet nicely or give them a hug, he almost always does.  Ditto Jenhum, I was very impressed with how gentle Liam was with Mrs.M&M's dog and cat this weekend! :)
    Rachel & Bill 9-10-05, Liam Andrew born 5-30-08 (formerly lakebride05)
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