Hit Me, Baby, One More Time!

Village, can we talk?  That baby is driving me bananas.  I’m not talking about her incessant need to have me read the shapes book over and over again.  I’m not talking about her crankypants behaviour when I don’t slice her strawberries fast enough.  I’m not even talking about the epic poops that I have to suffer every other day.

I’m talking about her hitting me.  I’m sick of it and I don’t know what to do.

Regan is so sweet and loving…until she doesn’t get her way.  Once I tell her “no” or “stop” she hits me.  If she is across the room and I yell at her, she will run with her hand up in the air until she reaches me and dispenses a can of baby whoopass.  It would be cute if it weren’t so frustrating.

The slaps don’t hurt, but the kicking does.  The other day I was putting her new boots on her.  When I took the little silicone packets out of her hands so she wouldn’t eat them she began kicking me with those heavy boots on.  Today I have a bruise.

When she first started hitting me I would grab her hand, slap it and tell her not to hit mommy.  Then I had a thought that hitting her would not be the best way to demonstrate not hitting me, so I started grabbing her hand and telling her no.  That usually results in more hitting.

I’m not sure if she is witnessing other kids hitting at school, but I am guessing that is it.  It’s also where she learned to pull her shirt up to show me her belly and put her finger in her mouth.  Come to think of it, she rarely puts her finger in her mouth anymore, so maybe this is the next phase and she will outgrow it.In any case, I’m completely annoyed by this behaviour. 

Have you had to deal with an aggressive child?  How do you teach a toddler not to hit without hitting?  I’m not opposed to popping her legs when trying to stop her from, say, running into the ocean, but I really don’t want to use that type of discipline in this situation.

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13 Responses to Hit Me, Baby, One More Time!

  1. I don’t have kids, so I know my opinion will be discarded but I do know that sometimes the best way to learn not to play with fire is to play with it and get burned!

    She’s too young to understand logic and therefore probably has no clue how hitting is hurtful. And by allowing her to continue this behavior wont likely break it.

    (and for those reading, no I don’t advocate child abuse 🙂 )

  2. keyalus says:

    I’m dealing with some of this now. I wouldn’t call Lewis aggressive (or Regan!) but he will hit me sometimes when he doesn’t get his way. Sometimes he chooses to fall out on the floor. Either way, I’m over it.

    I’ve been reading this Love & Logic for Early Childhood book about discipline and I’m putting the techniques into use. I’ll let you know how it works! Their suggestion for hitting is to avoid giving negative behavior more attention. Without using a words or demonstrating anger you say “Uh Oh!” and put the child somewhere safe (crib, bedroom, etc) where they will not hurt themselves or you. You only interact with them when they calm down. I guess it is like timeout but the key is to not let them know you are riled up and to not interact with them. There’s more here: http://www.loveandlogic.com/pages/aggressivetoddlers.html

  3. kim says:

    Maybe try hold her hands firmly and telling her firmly that she cannot hit at all. Since she is so young it may take her some time to understand. At a point she will understand.

  4. nineteen69 says:

    When she does it, pick her up and put her in her crib and say “we don’t hit people and you hurt mommy.”

    After being placed in the crib a few times, she will hopefully understand that hitting will lead to consequences.

  5. K says:

    We went through a few phases of hitting with Ezra (they’d come and go, come and go) and it was NOT cool with me. We did a few things based on how old he was based on when he was in the hitting phase:

    –The minute he would raise his hand, I would put my hand on his and tell him, “No. Hitting is not okay.”
    –We read the board book “Hands Are Not for Hitting” over and over and over. And I would randomly ask him in a fun way “What are hands for?!” as a reinforcement when he wasn’t angry or upset.
    –If he would try to hit me, I would tell him, “I won’t let you hurt me. That is not a good choice.” I read somewhere that phrasing it that way helps them understand that you, not them, have the power in the situation.
    –When he was a bit older, I’d provide him with words (“Tell me. Are you angry? Are you sad? Do you not want to put your coat on? I understand.” so that he could use his “big boy words” to tell me with his mouth rather than his hands how he was feeling.

    I do think it was something he saw at school (self-preservation, perhaps) and once he was older and had all of his words to express himself–it totally disappeared.

  6. pserendipity says:

    Aidan used to bite. Until one day when I bit him back harder. He could possibly be mentally scarred, I guess we’ll find out in a couple years. But for now, he never bit anybody else.

    Sorry, that’s all I got.

  7. Nerd Girl says:

    I got nothing – I yelled “no ma’am” and hit mine back. She stopped.

  8. Petite Pearl says:

    Interesting discussion here. Sidney hits people but he does it when he’s excited. Sometimes it’s a form of horse play. I grab is hand and say no but he doesn’t get it.

  9. onefromphilly says:

    You hit, you get hit. She has to learn sooner or later. Hopefully she will learn from you instead of some kid at school that tries to clean her clock.

  10. Roses Daughter says:

    I am going through this with Pookah, but it’s getting better. The hitting him when he hit me was not working. AND he was/is hitting at school. But it’s improving. With him hitting me, it seems to work if I grab his hand and don’t let him hit me. And surprisingly time out for undesired behavior is working too. I think being consistent with one method. is working too.

  11. discodiva73 says:

    Poor Regan…she is probably just frustrated since you can’t understand her baby talk! I think all kids go through that stage…even without watching others. Its natural…and she will outgrow it.

  12. najalimu says:

    Going through this a bit with baby Naj. She would do it when she is excited and upset. I caught her hand and very calmly and say “nice” and gently touch her hand to my arm or face. Now when she gets ready to hit, she’ll pause, say nice and try to gently touch.

  13. My nephew (the little Chucky doll), stabbed my sister in the lip with a fork the other day. She thought he was just trying to feed her and be a sweet son, but no, he was mad at her that day. He’s very moody, that one.

    My Aunt (retired educater) is my nephew’s full time Nanny. She’s not an advocate for hitting or biting or stabbing back with a fork bc she thinks it teaches the child violence…I just couldn’t believe my sister didn’t throw all that out the window and give my nephew a good, firm, NO, while holding that big hand of his tightly. Instead, she said she put him down on the floor, he threw a tatrum, and she let him cry until his dad came into the dining room to soothe him.

    I personally think his new modeling career is going to his big head and he was having one of those days. The fork stabbing thing was totally out of the norm for my little Chucky doll.

    Whenever he gets aggressive with me – I give him the look and a firm NO and he stops dead in his tracks.

    I hope Regan grows out of this soon.

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