Help... toddler hitting and bitting.

(3 posts)(3 voices)
  1. Hi there,

    My son just turned 2 last month and has always been a \"spirited\" child. He gets very upset if I don't let him do what he wants!!!! If he does what he wants then he is the sweetest thing around!
    My issue is with hitting other kids. If another child comes near him to take his toy or touch his things he will hit them. He never backs down and lets the other child get the toy, he always will fight for what he wants. He does quick slap to let them know not to touch his stuff. I also have another son, a sweet, mild tempered 7 year old whom my 2 year old bosses around.
    I've started to put him in time out for hitting and at times bitting but it's not helping. He understands why he is there but if he is about to hit someone and I say \"If you hit so and so you will go to time out\".. my son's responce is \"ok\" and walks to the time out chair. He is not really getting it. Also, the more I tell him not to hit the more he hits. It's like he wants my attention.
    I am not sure what to do. I don't want him not to be invited places because of this. Does anyone have any advice? Also did anyone have a difficult child that always wanted his way and then with age mellowed out?
    zacharoula and Nickolas
    2 years old.

  2. I have a 22mo DD who is having the same issues... very aggressive & picks on my 8yo DS. Throws toys, makes messes when she's angry, hits, bites, kicks, etc., so I feel your frustration.

    Time out doesn't work well for my DD either. I was complaining to my therapist about this issue, stating that I am scared spanking is the only option left (& I'm not keen on that idea).

    She suggested, when the child is in time-out, to put him/her somewhere where he/she CANNOT see you. If they can see you, they don't register it as punishment. Move them to another room (say, in a pack & play) and leave the room for 2-3 minutes. Not being able to see you (but still safe) will register to him/her that time-out is a punishment.

    I admit I have only tried this once so far with my DD, today when she threw a toy. She sat quietly during the time-out, and did not cry (as I expected she would when I left the room) but she DID NOT resume the behavior like she usually does after time out. She also was very clingy & lovey after that.

    Just my opinion based on a psycholgist's suggestion.

    Good Luck~

  3. zacharoula,
    My DS went through a tough biting stage too - around age 2 also. It did improve when he was better able to express himself verbally. It was really awful - I would pick him up from daycare and the teachers would always tell me \" he bit another child today\"....really embarrasing but when I talked to the teachers (they've seen it all!), they said that some kids are biters and it's a phase. My DS (3.3 y.o. now) very rarely bites now - only when he gets really, really frustrated (I think it's happened once or twice in the past 6 months or so). Take heart, it does get better!

    ETA: recommend the books by the author who wrote \"Teeth are not for biting\" (I think she has one about hiting too). We read that book A LOT.

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