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Old 06-14-2007, 03:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Collected Posts about "You Hit, You Sit" and General Posts about Hitting

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Title: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: mommyof2 on April 21, 2005, 01:46:57 PM
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I am at my wits end. My dd who was 2 in February constantly hits my other dd who is 6 months. This has gone on for well 6 months!  We have tried it all.  Talked about being gentle, showed her how the baby is crying and hurt, put her in her room, taken away something.  Nothing worked. DD was constantly getting hurt. There is no way I can keep her away from the baby 24/7.  She is normally so sweet and a great kid so I don't know why she does this. We have prayed and prayed with her and about it. She talks about being nice to the baby and does really well and then all of a sudden- smack.  I am so sick of the baby getting hurt- it breaks my heart. So I spanked her.  She quit doing it and it is rare now but it still happens and then I spank her.  Am I a horrible mother now?  I wasn't angry and it didn't leave a mark but she did cry. I thought I would never ever spank. I used to teach 1st grade and was horrified when kids told me they got spanked.  What am I supposed to do?!?!  I know it is a hard adjustment having a new baby- but 6 months?  And she gets tons of love and attention so I know that is not the reason.  AAHH- I am just frustrated-


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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 21, 2005, 03:10:38 PM
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Well, first, spanking isn't working.  (((((((((( ))))))))))) I know you are frustrated.  Let's look at some reality though . . . she is *ONLY* two--she is still a baby.  So very young. Only on the earth 2 years and no way she can navigate it with maturity.  Even when she *knows* something she lacks the impulse control and maturity to consistently *do* what she knows.  And you have *only* been dealing with this issue for 6 months--I know that is the entire life of your baby, but in the scheme of things it's really not that long at all.  What you are describing is totally age expected behavior.  That doesn't make it appropriate, but it does mean there's nothing *wrong* with your 2yo that this is happening.

Now, some things you can do:

if anyone is calling her "big" girl or "big" sister please insist they stop.  Baby her--find ways to treat her like a baby.  Wrap her in her towel after bath and cradle hold and rock her, look at her baby pictures and talk about when she was a baby, sing baby songs to her, cuddle often, watch her birth video if you have it, etc.

The book "Siblings without rivalry" and the book "I love you Rituals" by Becky Bailey are highly recommended

Becky Bailey talks about getting more of what you focus on.  So point out when she does interact well with the baby.

The reality is you have two very little babies and they need constant supervision.  If the baby is down then have him in a bouncy chair on the table or in a playpen where she can't get at him.  Give her a baby free zone to play in (put her in a playpen or play yard so that her things are safe and baby can crawl around).

hth


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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: mommyof2 on April 21, 2005, 04:05:34 PM
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Oh no! We always call her the big sister- why is that bad?  I thought it was good- I do still cuddle her a lot- she rocks with me, I carry her as much as possible- though it is hard with the baby to carry both- though I often do. Sometimes I feel like my back is going to break- 45 pounds of babies on me!  I am glad to know it is age-appropriate. I just feel so bad because I don't carry the baby nearly as much as I did her and it seems she still gets the most attention. The baby is really easy going.  Sorry I am rambling-
What should I do if she does hit?  I do praise her a lot and she does great kissing the baby, hugging her etc.  (most of the time- but it still happens that she hurts her at least once a day.)
Thanks so much for your help-


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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 21, 2005, 04:18:12 PM
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Quote
Oh no! We always call her the big sister- why is that bad? 
For some children it feels like too much pressure to grow up when they still want to be a baby.  Most parents with problems like you're describing find they clear up within about 2 weeks or less of cutting out the "big"

As for what to do  . . . I would honor the desire to hit but redirect it.  "Pillows are for hitting, not people" is great for the hitting times.  Teaching baby signs gives a way to communicate before they are verbal--and becoming verbal helps a lot too.  Our home rule is "We do not hurt with bodies or words." Followed by "I will not allow you to hurt your brother." And move her away


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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: mommyof2 on April 21, 2005, 06:47:59 PM
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Thank you Crystal- we will try that. I appreciate you taking the time to help me. 

I first found out about you on the MOPs message board.  I read all the information you put there about spanking and was so thrilled to find there were Christians out there who practice attachment parenting.   You are an inspiration to us all!!!


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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 21, 2005, 07:30:32 PM
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  thank you.  I'm so glad you found your way here   And post specifics if you have questions so we can brainstorm solutions with you


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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: Joanne on April 22, 2005, 05:16:10 AM
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Quote
Oh no! We always call her the big sister- why is that bad?

More on this (although Crystal has done well addressing it).  The motivation behind calling kids "big" is to encourage.  That's a good motive.  Unfortunately, the effect is often counter productive.  It makes kids feel like they have to let go of the very things they see the baby getting.  To them "big" means "less loved".

"Big" also is a constant reminder of the baby and ties their place in the family not to their uniqueness but the baby.  I hope that was clear?

In a similar way, I'd probably consider dropping the praise when she's kind to the baby.  The praise when she's affectionate might also be adding pressure that she feel that way to the baby all the time.

I'd recommend an honest talk about the baby.  Tell her babies are cute, cuddly, funny and great. *Also* tell her they are stinky, loud, demanding and boring.  Tell her it's okay that she have mixed feelings about the baby.  Tell her that sometimes you don't feel all squishy towards to baby, either.  I have a feeling your dd may be afraid of her mixed feelings.  She needs a way to process them and know they are normal and acceptable to you.

With the presense of "big" and the praise only during affection, your 2 yo might feel that her being mature and loving to the baby is the only time she's okay in your eyes.

And, finally, tell her that you know she both loves and not loves the baby. And that you will *help* her not hurt the baby until she's able to do it herself.  And structure your day and life to minimize times where your oldest baby feels the impulse to act out on her very confused feelings.



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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 22, 2005, 11:32:44 AM
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Quote
I'd recommend an honest talk about the baby.  Tell her babies are cute, cuddly, funny and great. *Also* tell her they are stinky, loud, demanding and boring.  Tell her it's okay that she have mixed feelings about the baby.  Tell her that sometimes you don't feel all squishy towards to baby, either.  I have a feeling your dd may be afraid of her mixed feelings.  She needs a way to process them and know they are normal and acceptable to you.

I can't believe I forgot this  It is always such a relief for my little ones to hear that their negative feelings are normal and okay.


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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: mommyof2 on April 22, 2005, 02:16:29 PM
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Thank you- now I feel so bad like I have been expecting her to act older than her 2 years.  Yesterday after reading about not calling her "big" I couldn't believe how many times I caught myself saying it.  I actually asked her if she wishes she was still a baby- she said, "yes". So my husband and I told her that was fine, she could still be a baby and do baby stuff.  It has been quite a month for her. She learned how to use the potty- in a couple of days all on her own basically- and moved to her own bed. Probably way too many transitions?   I feel so bad- she seemed to be handling everything so well.  I love her so much but it is so frustrating.  Today the baby was sleeping so she poked her in the eyes.  It is so hard to keep them separated all the time. Besides she loves the baby so much so I don 't want to always keep them apart. I never leave them alone but if I turn my back for a second she hits the baby.  Rambling again...


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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: Joanne on April 22, 2005, 02:42:59 PM
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Quote
Besides she loves the baby so much so I don 't want to always keep them apart. I never leave them alone but if I turn my back for a second she hits the baby.  Rambling again...

I always feel bad telling moms this.  But, she doesn't really love the baby so much.  The baby is fascinating and irritating.  In order to process her mixed feelings about the baby, she knows she can gain access if she wants to "hug and kiss".  But you can't trust her.

*sigh*.  It's not that she won't love the baby.  It's that she's too immature/little to move out of self centered love. 

You can't trust her with the baby.  It'll come, but not now.


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Title: Re: Toddler keeps hitting baby
Post by: ArmsOfLove on April 22, 2005, 02:51:45 PM
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and    our culture doesn't get toddler/baby relations and most of the advice out there is based on the idea that toddlers need to be independant "big kids" and how much *everyone* (including the toddler) just loves and adores the baby.  More often toddlers approach babies like they approach everything else in their world, "what will happen if I do THIS?"

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Title: hitting us
Post by: mysonshine on May 03, 2005, 03:09:37 PM
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Ok... I know this might seem well let's say "easy topic" but I am at a loss... ds just turned 2 on Saturday.  For the last week, he has gotten into the habit of hitting me and dh when corrected or doesn't get his way.

He knows it's wrong because for example... he's not to open my paperwork drawer in the office (house/mortgage importang house filings) I usually keep the office door closed but i was siting in the office and he opened the drawer. I got up and went to take his hands away to close the drawer and entertain him with something else.  So I go to move his hands but end up having to pick him up... i take him to the hallway where his winnie the pooh train is ... as i put him down he is angry and screaming at me (different from just screaming)  then he lifts his hand and as if thinking about it..he hits me then backs away staring at me. Since he started doing this I just ignore him and pretend it didn't happen...

what is the right thing to do so he will learn not to do this...

After this occured i talk to him saying i know you are angry you couldn't play with the drawer but we don't hit.
Anyt advice woudl be great


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Title: Re: hitting us
Post by: LisaM on May 03, 2005, 08:11:54 PM
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I would keep telling him "We don't hit people," but also continue validate his feelings, as he's probably hitting out of frustration.  Can you make a drawer or special box in your office that's just for him?  I think it's hard for toddlers to know that there's a room that's completely off limits.  Dr. Sears wrote that every toddler deserves their own drawer in the kitchen, but maybe he should've added in the office, too!

"You really want to play with the papers in Mommy's drawer.  It's hard when you can't have something you want.  Here are some papers for you.  Please put them in your paper box."

It can take a lot of repetition for a toddler to learn a hard and fast rule like "no hitting" so just keep at it.  One of these days, you'll realize he's stopped!


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Title: Best response to hitting?
Post by: singingmom on May 06, 2005, 03:31:33 PM
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What is the appropriate response or consequence when my 6 or 8 yr old hits his brother? It doesn't happen often, but when it does I can only think of punishment.


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Title: Re: Best response to hitting?
Post by: purplerose on May 06, 2005, 04:32:07 PM
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When DD hits her brother I tell her very gently that we do not allow hitting in our house, and it makes people very sad when they get hit. I also tell her it makes mommy very sad when she hits. I also ask her why she hit him...she could just be frustrated at him and this is all she knows how to do. It seems to work with her, but she is only 3! Good luck and Ihope you find some answers soon!!!


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Title: Re: Best response to hitting?
Post by: Joanne on May 06, 2005, 06:55:32 PM
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Quote
What is the appropriate response or consequence when my 6 or 8 yr old hits his brother? It doesn't happen often, but when it does I can only think of punishment.


School agers are old enough to understand and benefit from logical, related imposed consequences. Hitting a sibling is a disrespectful use of his body. An appropriate response might be to insist on a *respectful* use his body towards his brother? A hug? Pegging him on his bike (that's a biggie here )? Doing a simple chore of his brothers?

A choice to hit, a choice to not employ impulse control becomes a choice to do something nice.


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Title: Re: Best response to hitting?
Post by: singingmom on May 06, 2005, 07:22:02 PM
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Mommabean3, you're a lovely gentle example.

Joanne, this is exactly what I needed to hear. I had been thinking vaguely along these lines, but it seemed contrived at best when I tried to make it practical. Your suggestions give me a great start. I may even make a list of ways to respectfully use your body to help your brother, starting with these.

Does anyone else have ideas for me to add to my list?


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Title: Re: Best response to hitting?
Post by: ArmsOfLove on May 10, 2005, 10:52:45 AM
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I do want to throw in a caution against saying your child's actions "make" anyone feel anything--they are not responsible for other people's feelings and to burden them with that can be confusing for some children and crippling for others. I was in my late 20's when I figured out that I wasn't responsible for other people's feelings even though I was responsible for my actions.




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