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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question about my (almost) 18 month old daughter.  Over the past month or two, she's started hitting.  She'll look you in the eyes, and just hit and smile.  Or she'll hit herself.  I'm pretty sure she's hitting herself for attention and when she hits us, it's not out of anger.  She's too young to understand that hitting can hurt but how can we stop her?  I'm pretty sure she knows that she should not be doing so.  When she does hit, we'll take her hand and say "No, we don't hit".  Then we'll take her hand and while stoking our head softly we'll say "make nice".  SHe keeps doing it though.  None of us ever hit, including our 5 year old so we have no idea where she got it from.

Anyone else had this?  And waht did you do about it?
 

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I think a lot of children go through a hitting phase. Ben did too at about the same age. Hitting or biting or both. I think it's just a case of ignoring it as she is almost certainly doing it because it gets attention. To a child, any attention is good so even if it's negative she'll do it all the more if you make any kind of fuss over it even if you're trying to reinforce positive attitudes. She's really too young to get that.

Probably the best approach is to to try and ignore it where possible and, as soon as she stops and does something more positive heap on the praise and attention to reinforce it. If it gets too much, perhaps try distracting her with something else but draw no attention to the hitting at all. There's not really much point in punishing her for it at this age since she won't really get that. Hopefully she'll soon stop once she realises it's not getting her the attention she wants. When she's a bit older you can safely reintroduce the concept of it hurting. Ben is almost 4 and he's only just getting that!

C~x
 

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DS went through a hitting phase but it was mainly whilst I was holding him (it was only ever me he hit  ::)  ) I tried lots of things, including ignoring it, in the end as soon as he'd hit I would put him down and say firmly that Mummy does not like that and walk away... he hated that and he soon stopped  :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi,

Thank you for your responses. I agree with Caz in that it is an attention thing..or a testing thing to see my reaction.  And very true about wanting attention...good or bad.  wynnster, your situation almost shows it as your ds didn't like you just walking away.

Thank you.  Will try and ignore it.

 
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