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Thread: My 2 1/2 yo hits/pushes other kids - help!

  1. #1

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    Unhappy My 2 1/2 yo hits/pushes other kids - help!

    Hi

    I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to tackle my little boys behavior. He went through a hitting phase about 6 months ago which stopped quickly as we were very firm that it wasn't acceptable. I have just come back from our mums and bub walking group today feeling very down as he hit a little girl and pushed her in the sand. Her mum came up and told me and i said i was really sorry and went and had a talk with Oscar. He knew he'd done something wrong and went and gave the toy he had to another kid. 10 minutes later he pushed another girl over, i made him apologise which he did quickly and gave the girl a hug. Then 10 minutes later i caught him pushing the girl's head towards some railing and laughing (fortunately she was laughing at him also so i don't know if this egged him on so to speak.
    I'm feeling at a loss as to how to react as each time i tell him to stop or be gentle. he know's he's done something wrong but doesn't seem able to control himself. It's so disheartening that he's started doing this as he's been so nice for ages and can be so sweet to other kids then all of a sudden he's turned into a bit of a bully.



    Any tips on how to deal with this would be gratefully received.

    thanks, Julie x

  2. #2

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    My only suggestion would be to completely remove him from the situation, so maybe not letting him play and making him sit with you for a few minutes, as we all know how boring us mothers can be! It might take a few goes, but he'll soon get the message that pushing/hitting means boring time with Mum while all the other kids get to play.

    Good luck!

  3. #3

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    I know how you feel. Yasin has taken to pushing his brother lately too
    I'm a bit at my wits end because I make him sit down for a while and then say sorry/give his brother a kiss so now he pushes Imran and then gives him a kiss straight away. I didn't stop the pushing - just taught him to kiss and make up at super quick speed
    I just keep sitting him down, giving him boring little lectures and telling myself that it will pass.

  4. #4

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    Hi Julie,

    It is really frustrating when our 2 year olds (and above) behave like this as we hope this is not reflecting us as 'bad' mothers lol.

    My son was a hitter and my daughter is a biter (great!) It really is a frustrating stage but so age appropriate. Oscar is still so little and really hasn't developed his impulse control yet. Do you find there are triggers for his hitting like frustration, anger?

    I found that all I could do was explain what was wrong with the action and why, they had to make sure their 'victim' was alright and hug them, they then went into time out, get them to explain to me why they were in time out and then they were allowed back to play. I had to be consistent and not let one action slip (the hard part!).

    My son responded quickly but it has taken my daughter almost a year!!!! Which is just as well, was ready to send her to a new home

    It is really hard and time consuming and embarrassing, especially when other mothers come to you and 'dob' on your child. Just remember, he's only 2 and if he's still doing it when he goes to school he'll soon realise that he has no friends!!!

    Take is easy,

    Lynnette xx

  5. #5

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    Do you think he might be experimenting with his feelings and actions? Have you asked him why he pushed? Sometimes 2.5 yo's (and older, believe me!) need help remembering how to express themselves using their words.

    And sometimes even if they have the words, using their words doesn't work and they get frustrated and act out. In past instances when DS has hit or pushed out of frustration, I remind him that if using his words isn't working, to come and get me for help. I don't feel I am teaching him to "dob in" but if the situation is getting out of control to ask for help, rather than get physical.

    Oh, in case I am making an assumption everyone knows what I mean by "using your words", I mean teaching them to say "Stop, I don't like that".

    At 2.5yo, the number one thing you have to do is just be there all the time supervising. They do get it eventually.

    Rachael

  6. #6

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    He could be getting a kick out of the reaction from you IYKWIM. It's getting him attention.

    You could try some time out strategies. If he hurts someone then he has to sit on the floor at your feet for a couple of mins (without any interaction from you). If it gets worse then tell him it's a warning and you'll take him home if it happens again and follow through with it.
    Strap him in his seat and tell him you are taking him home because he hit/pushed someone over. You could give him a second chance at that point but after that there is no more second chances. Home it is and straight in the bedroom for 5 mins.

    Angus went through a throwing sand phase (in other kids faces,it was awful) and once I had taken him home one I only had to threaten him with it again and he behaved.
    Last edited by ~Raven~; April 17th, 2007 at 09:38 PM.

  7. #7

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    Hi All

    Thanks so much for your tips and for sharing the not so pleasant side of what your toddlers can get up to. It really helps knowing that there other toddlers doing not so great stuff sometimes and it's not to do with being a bad parent.

    We went to a park today and he played so nicely with all the other kids i was very proud, although the odds may have been stacked in his favour as he was the youngest/smallest so probably wouldn't have hit/pushed anyway.

    Dachlosta - lol at boring little lectures - i do that lots though i'm sure its in one ear out the next!
    Lynnette - I can't think of any triggers as such except when he get so excited he doesn't know what to do with himself. It confused why he started being pushy on Tuesday as we've been going to the same walking group for months and he's always played so nicely before.
    Rachael - I've asked him why but he just looks at me blankly. I don't think he has enough words to tell me yet or else he's being sneaky and pretending he has no clue what i'm on about!
    Sam - i will definitely try the time out strategy if it happens again when we are out. We use it at home and it works so well we hardly have to do it anymore as just the warning works, i just haven't done it outside yet.

    Thanks again for your help

    Julie x

  8. #8

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    Hey Julie

    Aggressive behaviours in 2 year olds is still "developmentally appropriate"...even though it's not so nice...some 2 year olds are a little more aggressive than others, which sometimes just comes down to temperament...

    Like has been said, kids at this age are yet to develop impulse control skills (being able to stop themselves from hitting out) and their speech and language skills are still not that developed...

    I think the time out option is great...there's a fantastic programme called 123 magic that is based on the time out principle. It uses warnings (except with aggressive behaviour when a warning isn't really appropriate) and is about reducing the talking and emotion in discipline...

    It's designed for 2-12 year olds...if you do a google search for 123 magic, you'll find some details on it (e.g. book, training courses...if you want)...it's a programme I've used for about 10 years (in my work with kids with emotional, behavioural and social skills problems)...and I find it absolutely brillant...

    It also really helps kids to start developing (with some support) their impulse control and self-regulation skills...

    Wishing you all the best!

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