Friday, October 10, 2008

Terrible Twos, Here We Come...

I'm worried that I have a hitter on my hands.

Lately K. has expressed his crankiness/frustration/annoyance with me or whatever you want to call it by hitting things, namely... me.  Yesterday he slapped me in the face not once ... but two different times!  

The first time I was so shocked, the look on my face must have registered the emotion and that was enough to make him cry.  (Which I consider to be a good thing, actually.) 

The second time, however, he sorta threw a little tantrum, mimicked me saying, "No, no, no!" and let his legs go all spaghetti-like when I tried to calmly but firmly hold his arms in front of his face to express my displeasure.

What to do?  I know that toddlers don't really know enough at this stage to really understand what it is they are doing when they hit other things, whether they are parents, other kids, pets, or inanimate objects.  But that said, I don't want to ignore this behavior and risk creating a pattern.

My strategy thus far has been to immediately grab his hands (gently, but firmly), look him in the eye and say, "No, we DO NOT HIT Mommy."  And then sort of drop it (so as not to reward him with too much attention for that specific behavior).  

Also, after the second incident yesterday, I kissed him (after a few minutes had passed and the "mood" had lifted) and made a big show of saying, "See, kisses are nice.  Mommy LIKES kisses. She likes kisses SO MUCH MORE than hits!"  And he kissed me back several times .... so I am thinking that helped him understand.

He turns 18 months old on the 25th of this month.  Terrible Twos, here we come...!

In terms of disciplining hitting, do you think I am on the right track here?  It's such a tricky thing, because it always kills me to yell at him, or speak in an unpleasant tone, but on the other hand, I feel like I need to do something to get his attention rather than ignore the behavior. Hmmmm.  What to do?  Thoughts from the peanut gallery are welcomed.


Sweet Pea Chef said...

From the peanut gallery:

He understands. He gets it. I remember someone telling me this when R was about this age and I was doubtful at best.

My advice? Start those time outs or some form of consequence now. Seriously. He may not get it (a time out)at first, but he will. Better to nip it in the bud than to wait until it gets worse.

Just my two cents.

Sign me,

Sweet Pea Chef said...

BTW, I forgot to say this:

I think you handled it beautifully, the way you emphasized the kisses and didn't give him much attention after the hitting.

Should have said that first. Darn.

BigBi said...

Thank you SPC! Very helpful!

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