Monday, June 11, 2012

Houston, we have a hitter...again

I've mentioned quite a few times on the blog about how lucky we are when it comes to M and not really having "terrible twos"...yet. There have been the occasional fits and tantrums here and there, but nothing lasts more than a few seconds. She does like to whine a lot though, and has developed somewhat of a little diva attitude as of late. Here is how things usually go when M doesn't get her way now:

M: I wanna watch something on the big tv Mama (with big smile on her face)
Mama J: Maybe later, let's go outside and play.
M: I wanna watch something on the big tv! (getting louder and higher pitched)
Mama J: No, now it is time to play outside. We will watch later.
M: I wanna watch now! (body starts to stiffen, fists are clenched)
Mama J: Let's go outside and do something fun!
M: WHEEENNNNNHHHHHH@)($*@!#(#$*#()!!!! (the only way I can describe that blood curdling, ear-piercing most annoying sound on the planet that is my daughter's whining)

I would actually be ok with this behavior if it wasn't followed by her hitting me. I understand she is 2.5, and she doesn't understand why she can't always get her way, but I cannot handle her hitting me. She started doing this around the time she turned 2 last year, but it only lasted a few days and went away. Well, it is back with a vengeance.

She gets herself so worked up when she doesn't get her way that her arms immediately flail in my direction and most of the time make contact with my head. If I am not close she will hit whatever is closest to her, while continuing to make that horrendous high pitched whine noise.

And what is my reaction to all of this nonsense? You name it, I have tried it.

I have ignored it.
I have grabbed her arm.
I have told her No Hitting!
I have grabbed her arm and told her No Hitting!
I have walked away from her.
I have asked her father to deal with her.
I have growled at her. (I do this when the dog is driving me insane and it works, so I figured why not give it a try)
I have told her it is not nice to hit!
I have told her she is being mean to Mommy.
I have even called her names - she is scared of the Mother Goethel character in Tangled so I have even said "you are being mean, just like Mother Goethel! Don't be mean!"
I have even hit her back.

Yes, I am not proud of admitting I hit her back. It was just a light smack on her hand, but it did make her cry because it was so unexpected. I of course apologized right away and we hugged it out - not my best parenting moment so far.

But this behavior continues today, and I don't know what to do about it. I am scared that when she starts her summer school program next month that she is going to hit another kid in her class, or worse a teacher! I don't want my kid to be the hitter!

Does anyone have experience with this? And can you please tell me there is some magical spell I can cast while she is sleeping tonight that will immediately stop this behavior!!


  1. We dealt with this a few times with Parker. Sometimes he gets on these streaks where he would hit Mason or me when he was frustrated. Those days were tough because he would have to spend a lot of time in time out. When he would hit I would say "We do not hit in this house, Parker and every time you hit, you sit in time out for two minutes" I would try to stay calm and always follow through with time out no matter how nasty it got (he would scream and cry in time out) and stay consistent. It was important that Dan did the same when he would hit too. After a day of time outs he wouldn't hit. Now he would slip from time to time when he was really angry, but the repetitive hitting every time he is frustrated with me or his brother has stopped. If time out isn't for you, then just stay consistent in whatever you decide to do!

  2. We read the book "Hands are not for hitting" consistently every time there was an incident. We bought a second book and gave it to his daycare teachers to do the same. It really worked. And he LOVES the book and asks for it randomly just because he likes it. I cannot recommend it enough.
    We all have bad parenting moments. Good for you for airing it out. You are raising a great little girl!!

  3. My little guy does this too. He qualified from 6 months speech that just ended but I asked the speech therapist. She said to grab his hands and squeeze them together. She said as you do that, say I know you are frustrated so squeeze your hands together. They need that physical connection when they are mad and this a good alternative to hitting others. It really helped and he really doesnt hit as much :)