Monday, August 2, 2010

Seeking Advice on Grabbing, Hitting and Other Undesirable Behaviors

Hi. My name is Sarah Fader and I have a problem. My two year old son, Ari (who I love more than anything in the world) grabs toys from other kids. He also hits other children. Though I realize that this behavior is normal for his age, I still don't know how to discipline him effectively. I don't want him to keep these behaviors up well into his elementary school years.

Are you the parent of an older child? Older than say two? How did you deal with these behaviors? Please post a comment and tell me what worked for you.

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  1. Though I don't have kids of my own, I was raised with a whole herd of them.

    My mom was a big fan of the time out. If she saw us hitting it was an immediate smack on the butt and a 10 minute time out (each room had a designated area). Then after our time out we had to apologize and give hugs.

    If she saw us grabbing toys it was a smack on the hand, the toy was confiscated and we had a 10 minute date with the time out corner.

    If we kept fighting over the toy however, my mom had the dreaded 'give away basket.' Any toys that were continually fought over were put inthe 'give away basket' under the threat of being donated to the local church/day care center. The idea was if we could't learn to share it, no one got to play with it.

  2. Oh man we are dealing with this too. Now my son is a little older so it is a little easier to reason with him. Before we go anywhere with other kids I just go over the rules. "No hitting, share the toys and listen to the teachers" I swear I have to say it about 5 times but I have him repeat it back to me too. I think it is working. So far the last 3 times he has been left in a daycare type place he has done well. So we will see.

    Now my 5 year old I think did a little hitting around age 2 and I would take his hand and tell him we don't hit and show him a gentle touch. Doing that a lot seemed to work with him but it didn't with my 3 year old.

  3. Thanks so much Ms. D! Wow that giveaway basket us a great idea.

  4. Julie- That makes sense to repeatedly go over the rules. I'm going to try that. THANKS!

  5. man...I always hated when my kids did that. For both our kids we gave them a tap on the hand, told them "no," told them they had to share, and put them in time out.

    Over time that eventually worked. It was painful, lots of tears, screaming, etc...but that's what Jack Daniels is for. Eventually the kids came around and learned to not grab.

  6. Thank you WIDC! I am going to try the hand tap!

  7. Here is my (former) classroom system:
    1. For hitting or other violent behavior towards people/animals, immediate time out of a few minutes, followed by child apologizing
    2. All other unwanted behavior got one warning, if possible in the form of a choice offered to the child. For instance "Do you want to share the toy or do you want a time out?" Then if they chose not to share, time out followed.

    The real key is that whatever you decide to do, you need to be as consistent as possible so that he learns that he can predict the consequences of his behavior and then behave according to the outcome. Patience is a toddler-mom's best friend


What do you think? Feel free to agree or disagree, but hateful comments will be deleted.