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2YO hitting and kicking Mummy

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  • 2YO hitting and kicking Mummy

    My 2YO is a normally pleasant little guy, but recently he has starting hitting and kicking me. I have noticed that this happens mainly when he is trying to get my attention, or when he is tired and I am laying with him to get him to sleep. When he is doing it for attention, I acknowledge that and let him know that I understand he wants me, and that I will be with him when I am done washing the dishes, my hands, peeing etc. However, at sleeptime today, he kept smacking me even after I had said that hitting is not nice, it hurts mummy and hurts her feelings, and that it was not okay even if he was very tired. He kept doing it, and I left the room saying that I would be back when he was done hitting. He immediately started crying, saying he was done, but as soon as I returned to his bed, he smacked me again. If I tried to ignore it, he smacked me harder. Anytime I asked him to keep his hands to himself and tried to lay him down, he laughed at me and smacked me again. After about 10 mins of this, I called my DH in to try to get him to nap, and I left the room, letting him know that I needed a break because the hitting had hurt my feelings. He continued to sob with my DH there, crying that he wanted me to come back in. He did this for about 15 mins, and then finally fell asleep. I feel awful about it, but I don't know how else to deal with this. I don't agree with time outs, and feel that this was kind of like one, but I can't allow him to hit me and think that it is okay. I guess I am wondering how to handle this without resorting to leaving him crying for me, even if his daddy is there with him. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • #2
    I know how hard it is to walk away during an emotional situation! Mommy Guilt ensues. But sometimes that's the best thing you can do. In this situation, it sounds like you had tried lots of redirection and talking about how it hurts and doesn't feel nice. It's OK to keep yourself safe and remove yourself from a hurtful situation. Like you said, you cannot allow him to hit you.

    It sounds like you already use a lot of positive discipline tools and are keeping things non-punitive, which is so helpful. I also love how you are aware of the times that it happens and are considering why and what he might be needing. That, too, is a huge step in finding an effective solution.

    Is there something else he could do with his hands while you are laying with him? Hold a blanket or a stuffed animal? Or maybe you could play a game with your hands together (sometimes my son and I play a "mirror" game with our fingers together)? Or preempt the hitting by giving him a gentle hand massage while you're lying there in bed? I'm just thinking there might be some way of keeping his hands busy and still help him get the connection & attention he needs from you.

    Hitting at this age is totally normal, even though it may seem like it came on out of the blue. Prevention, distraction, and redirection will help him get thought this stage...and he WILL get though it. Hang in there!

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