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19 month old daughter just started hitting help

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  • 19 month old daughter just started hitting help

    We are going through a lot right now. We just found a house back in South Florida and are now preparing to move in a couple of months; I *might* be pregnant but still not sure - *RAGING HORMONES* though; having personal meltdowns; etc etc....and dd just started hitting. Not sure if she picked it up from her play friend or if it's just a phase. She is a super sweet little girl and very empathetic - very loving wiht us and her animals, always gives her friends her toys, feeds all her little dolls and animals, gives kisses to *ugh* Elmo in her book, etc. I think it's just frustration, but with my over the top moodiness I have so little patience. Poor dh even said to me should I just let you beat me first and ask the question after ...

    Anyway, I have a ton of books, but so little time to read so please help me..I've tried telling her it hurts when you hit, we don't hit it's not nice etc, but all she does is continue to try to do the same thing again.
    for instance today, I couldn't change the thing we were doing because we were shopping in a kids consignment shop and I was in a time crunch. She was keeping busy with some books and an Elmo that were for sale. She decided she wanted to keep running over to the book section and change her books. I needed to keep her with me but it was too warm to keep her in the carrier. So I tried to get her to sit down and look at her books after the fifth time of getting a different book. When I tried to stop her again, she got mad and tried to hit me, I tried to redirect her and get her to sit down again with Elmo but no that wasn't enough so again she tried to push past me and this time I got an uppercut with a book . finally I had no patience *insert raging hormones and getting tired* and grabbed the stroller and tried to find several books to try to keep her busy.

    question 1 how could I have better dealt with this?
    question 2 how can I deal with the hitting?

    thanks!!!

  • #2
    Hi Laura, I think this happens to everyone! Even with our best intentions, we're all still short on patience sometimes. So don't be too hard on yourself!

    I think it's important to note that when it does happen and tempers flare and you say something you don't mean, or in a way that was more harsh than you intended, the best thing is to address that. So, after you've calmed down & the situation has passed/ resolved, bring it up again and say, "Honey, remember when Mommy yelled about ___? I'm really sorry I said that...or...I'm really sorry I acted that way. I shouldn't have yelled like that and I'm sorry if you were scared. I shouldn't have done that, and I'll try to use calm words next time." Or some variation of that that would be appropriate for your daughter...Not too wordy, but enough to convey your apology & talk about what happened and everyone's feelings.

    Although it's not ideal to lose our tempers with our kids it does happen--and will again! So it's important to be able to turn those times into more connective moments.

    Anyway, back to your questions...I think your approach in the store was a positive one...you got her occupied with something and tried to redirect her when she was headed out of sight. I know the multiple redirections can be frustrating though, eh? I could feel myself getting frustrated in that situation too! You mentioned that it was too warm to have her in the carrier, but after multiple redirections & frustration rising, could you have endured it long enough to finish shopping quickly? Or, you mentioned there was a stroller there...could you have kept her in it to shop? Or put her in it the first time she started to wander so the situation would never get a chance to escalate?

    When it seems like you're trying all kinds of solutions to a problem and nothing is working, it might be best to just change the situation entirely...take a break, walk out & come back later, find somewhere & have a little snack, etc. I know it's hard to change plans, especially when you're in the middle of something you HAVE to get done NOW (believe me--I am the Queen of Planning and following through on said plans! ), but when you have an unpredictable, emotionally unstable toddler in tow, it really might be the best choice. Sometimes the only choice! Ah, the sacrifices we make for a positive relationship with our kids!

    About the hitting in general, it sounds like you are right on in approaching this phase. And yes, it IS a phase. Your approach is gentle & empathic...I would also add to consider her emotional & cognitive development. At 19 months she is simply NOT capable of controlling herself, "remembering" your words & reminders, or expressing her feelings appropriately. She needs your help with that. So, while it is very trying for us as parents, the best thing we can do is to repeat, repeat, repeat ourselves, help her control her hands & body expressions, and have patience!

    It's more of shifting our thinking from "You may not hit" to "I will help you learn how to not hit".

    Hang in there, mama, and just take a break & a big breath when you need one!
    Last edited by Kelly; 07-25-2008, 04:17 PM.

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    • #3
      Hi Sapphos, I agree with Kelly ---she has very good advice!

      ..I've tried telling her it hurts when you hit, we don't hit it's not nice etc, but all she does is continue to try to do the same thing again.
      This is very common occurrence and even my 3 yr old sometimes gets into that ball of emotions and impulsively that the hitting or throwing rocks are inevitable. In both of their cases trying to avoid it happening at all or at least preventing it from escalating are key. That is hard and I don't act quick enough at times too, but when I do the result is worth shopping a little longer or being a little late.

      Don't be too hard on yourself. We have all had that to deal with!

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