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  1. #1
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    Feb. 14, 2012
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    Default Spitting, Biting, Hitting... GAH!

    DD is 13 months old now, and seriously trying my patience. I love how strong willed she is because I can see it being an asset to her future, but right now? Holy crap.

    I know it's a kid thing, and maybe my patience is totally sapped because I'm 12 weeks pregnant with #2, exhausted from throwing up and not sleeping very well.

    DD has a nasty habit of 'drive-by' biting, that's now escalated in spitting/hitting/kicking when we tell her "No" about anything or she smiles, shakes her head, and goes right back to it...even if we totally remove her from the situation. Today she was spitting at people in the grocery store. I was 'that person' with the horrible child and it was mortifying.

    I seriously feel like I'm raising a tiny Ted Bundy 99% of the time. She's totally out of control.

    When she starts acting up, we tell her very firmly NO and usually remove her from the situation. If she's really bad she goes upstairs to her (totally safe) room for 4-5 minutes to chill by herself, just to totally remove her from the situation and ensure that I don't stuff her in the garbage can (JOKING). I don't think that she's old enough to understand a spanking and really I don't want to teach any more about hitting. She's well versed in that category. *shudder*

    Help? Please? I can't even partake in wine to capacity!
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.



  2. #2
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    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Might not be very PC now but I once bit my Mum when I was little. She bit me back and I never did it again...

    (I'm not really suggesting that you bite her.)
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


    8 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
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    Aug. 11, 2003
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    Are you sure there aren't any underlying reasons? Is it just bad behaviour? It could be jealousy, or perhaps it could be another underlying reason that you aren't aware of. I certainly wouldn't class hitting, biting and spitting as "a kid thing". In fact, I hate to say this, but I don't think any of my friends had a kid that hit, spat and bit. I know you're exhausted though and of course kiddo is taking advantage. Do contemplate asking your doc as well though - there may be a chemical imbalance going on - don't rule it out.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Jun. 24, 2006
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    This may be her way of acting out from the stress of the move and everything being different. Gavin definitely tried more stuff after Parker arrived.

    What I do with G is that when he tries it I will make him sit down a foot away from me. I used to hold his arm (LIGHTLY) so he couldn't escape and I would gently guide him to sit down. That lasted just a moment now I need to take him and pick him up and set him down in the sitting position.

    Then I tell him "We don't hit" or whatever the offense is a low voice with as direct eye contact as I can get from an 18 month old. By this point he is crying and I ignore him for a minute or two. If he tries to get up I put him back. Then I nicely say "We don't hit it hurts people right?" And go to give him a hug/cuddles/a kiss.

    He is very young but it seems like he gets the point. Hang in there!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
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    Jul. 31, 2007
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    DD being "totally out of control" means

    1. You are tired and not up to training her right now.

    2. You haven't taken an inventory of the stuff that *does* modify her behavior.

    2.5 And that includes the stuff well before the Tasmanian Devil stage that set her up to fail-- her being tired or whatever.

    Can you give us more details? It's just like training a horse.... who doesn't weigh 1,000#.
    The armchair saddler
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  7. #7
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    Mar. 4, 2010
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    Sometimes you just have to live through it. Keep doing what you're doing and try to keep your cool. I'm sure you realize that she's way far away from the age of reason, so trying to talk through it with her is pointless.

    If nothing else, find a trustworthy teen and give yourself a break. Go to the store alone, don't take her anywhere where she can try your patience any more. More important for you to keep yourself sane at this point than to try and make major behavioral changes. She'll outgrow this stage anyway.

    This too shall pass! Hugs!



  8. #8
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    Oct. 2, 2012
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    This is where I'm coming from: my sister had twin boys. They spoke a secret language and were sort of impenetrable to anyone else. I wasn't around them a lot but it was noticeable. We all put it down to the twin thing. When she went back to work and they started daycare, the babysitter told my sister after two weeks that she suspected autism. My sister was offended and never went back to that daycare.

    She ignored every sign that they were not "normal," such as never learning to tie their shoes. Finally in middle school, she had them tested, and one of them is autism spectrum, the other just barely not. But because she ignored the signs, they never had the early intervention that is free to every child that has some sort of disability.

    I am saying this because your DD's behavior sounds like more than the terrible two's to me, so maybe ask people who are familiar with her to be frank with you. I wish we had been more frank with my sister, or that she had heeded that nagging voice.
    A helmet saved my life.

    2014 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
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    Dec. 5, 2004
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    Try windsorpeak.com. Go the lounge and post the same thing. It's the best baby forum ever. I wouldn't have survived without it! Super smart people and I have learned so much!



  10. #10
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    Mar. 30, 2004
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    I think military children go through different stressors than other children, and it might be worth a few visits to a psychologist who is familiar with the military and has seen this before. After my BFF's hubby's deployment was extended, her DD started acting out very badly despite EVERYTHING she had done (and she did a LOT, was trained in child education, is very good with her kids).
    send some of their smart literate deer who can read road signs up here since ours are just run of the mill dumb ones who get splatted all over creation because they won't stay in the woods



  11. #11
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    Jun. 25, 2004
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    Of my some 25+ nieces and nephews plus grands most had a brief period of biting usually of the "nibbling" variety. They tended to grow out of quickly. The hitting and kicking and "NO" lasted longer. There is no one answer to stop this sort of activity. The main thing is to do whatever gets that kid's attention and will make them stop.

    This could be her reaction to your pregnancy woes. We tend to forget that they see and hear far more than we realize. She knows something is different and you are not there for her like you used to be. This could be her way of saying "there is a disturbance in the force."
    A little extra attention may help.

    Also a good idea to have the pediatrician give her a check. Just to rule out possible issues such as autism, hearing or vision problems. Don't scoff, oldest nephew was hell on wheels but couldn't see. My late sister was in tears when he asked, after getting his first glasses at age 5, "what are those" pointing at the leaves in the trees.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim


    2 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
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    Feb. 14, 2012
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    Fern Creek, KY
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    Thank you, everybody for the advice and encouragement! It means a lot.

    I think that it's valid that we have her doc check her out. Physically and mentally she's way ahead of the game, which also causes her a lot of frustration, which then equal total meltdowns. (i.e. She knows she has the ability to climb up the stairs but doesn't understand that it's dangerous and freaks when I say no.)

    My nephew (who is 4) is the definition of demon child and I hate the thought that DD could even end up remotely like him. My MIL makes comments pretty often when Nephew is hitting/biting/kicking/or other wise proving that he's going to spend the majority of his adult life in jail that he takes after my husband at that age. I've been seriously losing sleep over it thinking I'm raising one myself. (I know in the back of my head that I'm not. There are a TON of other factors that I won't get into... but especially on days like today, I really wonder!)

    I will try giving her more attention any way that I can. That is legit as well. I stay at home with her, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to devote a day or two to just fun mommy and me fun stuff. No errands or rushing around.

    We are also talking about putting her in daycare on Fridays for a half day or so, so that I can have time to schedule drs. appointments (I can't bring her with me to any OB appointments), go grocery shopping, or take on a student or two. I think the social aspect will be good for her as well. Back 'home' we had lots of friends her age that we did stuff with. Here it's just her and I all day, every day.

    Thank you also for the book and website recommendations! I'm off to check those out now!

    Once again, COTH to the rescue. Y'all always make me feel better.
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.



  13. #13
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    Default

    We had a lot of parenting classes/help/intervention due to having a kid that was quite a handful. The best program we were in gave us training in positive reinforcement, and trained us to ignore the negative behavior as long as it was ok to ignore it. Translation: there are some behaviors you can't ignore.

    Example: If kid is tearing up her picture book, ignore it for now. If kid is quietly looking through her picture book, engage her. Start with, "Wow! You are really into that book! You're reading like a big girl!" Ask her what her favorite picture is, what color is the picture, does she want a xxxxxx. Ask her to tell you a story about what's in the book.

    Later, if she's back to tearing up the book, you respond with, "I can only talk to little girls who take care of their book." Then ignore her. If she switches gears, and begins to read the book and not destroy it, start paying attention to her.

    This takes some practice, because you are learning a different parenting technique. Getting a professional evaluation is probably necessary too. You may also want to think about if you're a distracted parent (cell phone, computer, texting, tv, etc.) or if you are fully engaged with your child.

    Good luck!
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookicat View Post
    Might not be very PC now but I once bit my Mum when I was little. She bit me back and I never did it again...

    (I'm not really suggesting that you bite her.)
    I have no memory of it, but my mom bit me back and apparently I never bit anyone again. I probably had no idea that it hurt other people. My mom and I have a great relationship though. It's one of the only times she ever retaliated, but I was being a little shit and biting kids at school - or so I heard years later.

    I probably would bite her back... that's why I don't have kids.
    You are what you dare.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
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    Jan. 18, 2011
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    It's not PC these days, but when my son was a toddler, we did spank. It did NOT cause him to hit us, the way people always say it does.

    He was a MEAN hair puller as a toddler. If I was holding him, and preventing him from doing something he wanted to do, he would grab my hair and YANK. It was very, very painful, and the immediate reaction for me was a sharp smack on his fat thigh. It did not take very long before he realized that abusing his mother resulted in unhappy consequences.

    Like I said, I know it's not PC, but it sure does work. Flame away. I have a fantastic grown son that I adore!


    6 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
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    Feb. 13, 2009
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    At 13 months old, she'd likely due for a check-up soon anyway. By all means ask your pediatrician to be thorough!
    Ok - Using corporal discipline on your child is NOT the same as beating your kid and will NOT teach them to be violent and hit, anymore then your horse "learns" to kick you because you use a firm leg.

    I have 2 kids, a lovely, wonderful, sweet, generous almost teen and an equally wonderful special needs toddler.
    They BOTH went through a hitting stage - why?
    Because you're kind of right, Humans ALL start out little Ted Bundys, selfish, self serving, manipulative, unemphatic. If you think about it, it's really kind of a survival trait for toddlers.
    But we grow, our brains develop and we LEARN all these wonderful things like empathy and generosity. A few of us learn it on our own, the majority of us need help.

    So first, know that this is perfectly natural and that you haven't failed or anything.

    Second, the poster who said "I probably had no idea that it hurt other people." is SPOT ON. A 13 month old has NO idea that it hurts other people, or even that other people feel pain. ALL they know is it gets your attention, and makes you react, and is therefore a successful strategy.

    With my kids - and I know that this is very un-pc to say - I disciplined by mirroring. Not to the same degree, of course, but yanking on my hair brought a tug on their hair, almost as if they had done it to themselves instead of me. Hitting got a quick pop on the back of the hand, as did biting. Neither of mine spit, but my niece did - and got a little spritz of water in the face (sister happened to have the cat bottle in hand) Now, at no point was a kid's hair ripped out, or were they beaten in any way or hit repeatedly, the water was a tiny bit of mist from a spray bottle - but they got an instantaneous similar reaction to what they had done.
    As soon as discipline (and again, please not that causing the child pain was NOT the point, the point was that hitting or yanking or spitting went right back onto themselves) was done (ie; 1 second) it was calmly explained "Ouch! That wasn't fun, was it? No, hitting hurts. It's a not-nice thing to do to people. We don't like that. Wouldn't you rather be nice? How about a hug? Hug's feel nice. Ok, now, can you use your words or show me what you want/need/were trying to say/made you upset?"

    I think this happened all of 4 or 5 times with my older, and a bit more with my younger, who being non-verbal is more easily frustrated, and a very physical person as well. My niece spit once.
    And that was it.
    There was no trauma involved, no mental anguish. My almost 13yo has no memory of it. My nearly 4 yo will sometimes cock a foot to kick and reconsider when Momma reminds him that kicking hurts, and is not nice, and does he really want to do that? ~And if it helps, while there were not many instances of kicking, just kicking was not enough for him. He had to throw himself on the ground to repeatedly piston both feet at you. I had bruises and he once split his father's lip when Hubby was sitting on the bed and DS flung himself down and started pistoning - the kid was serious about kicking!

    About other things, like not listening and getting into stuff ... at 13 months, talking to her beyond a few sentences and simple concepts - she just won't understand. You have to keep it very short and to the point. Like "Ok, let's go!" and then pick her up and leave. Not - and it's an easy trap to fall into - "Ok sweetie, it's time to stop playing with the toy, because Mommy has an appointment and we don't want to be late, so now we need to say bye bye to everyone. Are you ready? We have to say bye bye. C'mon, you can play with that toy later..."
    YOU are trying to be a sweetly reasonable non-control freak. All SHE knows at 13 months old is if she ignores you, you keep talking, and she keeps doing whatever she wants. There is no reason to pay attention to the endless sounds you're making. And if you stop making all that sound, that is her cue to pitch a fit, and that buys her 5 more minutes.
    <<<hug>>> It's hard. The age of sweet reason will come (LOL, not in the first 3 years) and then it will leave, and come back, and then go again. But really one day it will stay!! That's what my mother tells me!

    What I did about touching was One reminder "Momma said don't touch" and then as soon as one tiny finger reached I would "steal" their hands. Just take their hands and hold them still for a count of 10. Then I would say "Can you control your hands or does Momma need to?" and let go.
    No scolding or shaming (which I feel can very easily cross the line to abuse) - just 10 seconds of holding their hands still.
    If they were really feeling their oats that day, sometimes I'd have to do it a couple of times in a row. They'd look at me and reach "What did Momma say?" and they'd make sure I was watching and reach "Ok, Momma will help you with those hands!" and I'd hold their hands still again.
    And that was all it took!

    Now, it should go without saying that to a child any attention is better then no attention, and if misbehaving was the easiest way to get attention, then they would have been more persistent about it. But given the choice between positive attention or having their hands held still for a count of 10, they opted to color or something fun and hear Momma compliment them on how good they were being.
    You'll get through this!


    5 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2005
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Please watch this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apzXGEbZht0

    Seek out a children's mental health professional who understands how self-regulation develops in children using an attachment perspective. There is much that you can do to help your little one. It won't take a lot at this age and it will set her up for future success in life. This is the field in which I work.

    One more thing. This does not mean that there is something wrong with your child! Most wee ones go through this type of behaviour to some degree. How you handle it is important. Best of luck.
    Last edited by b; Mar. 30, 2013 at 08:51 AM. Reason: wanted to add a comment



  18. #18
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    Feb. 14, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverotter View Post
    At 13 months old, she'd likely due for a check-up soon anyway. By all means ask your pediatrician to be thorough!
    Ok - Using corporal discipline on your child is NOT the same as beating your kid and will NOT teach them to be violent and hit, anymore then your horse "learns" to kick you because you use a firm leg.

    I have 2 kids, a lovely, wonderful, sweet, generous almost teen and an equally wonderful special needs toddler.
    They BOTH went through a hitting stage - why?
    Because you're kind of right, Humans ALL start out little Ted Bundys, selfish, self serving, manipulative, unemphatic. If you think about it, it's really kind of a survival trait for toddlers.
    But we grow, our brains develop and we LEARN all these wonderful things like empathy and generosity. A few of us learn it on our own, the majority of us need help.

    So first, know that this is perfectly natural and that you haven't failed or anything.

    Second, the poster who said "I probably had no idea that it hurt other people." is SPOT ON. A 13 month old has NO idea that it hurts other people, or even that other people feel pain. ALL they know is it gets your attention, and makes you react, and is therefore a successful strategy.

    With my kids - and I know that this is very un-pc to say - I disciplined by mirroring. Not to the same degree, of course, but yanking on my hair brought a tug on their hair, almost as if they had done it to themselves instead of me. Hitting got a quick pop on the back of the hand, as did biting. Neither of mine spit, but my niece did - and got a little spritz of water in the face (sister happened to have the cat bottle in hand) Now, at no point was a kid's hair ripped out, or were they beaten in any way or hit repeatedly, the water was a tiny bit of mist from a spray bottle - but they got an instantaneous similar reaction to what they had done.
    As soon as discipline (and again, please not that causing the child pain was NOT the point, the point was that hitting or yanking or spitting went right back onto themselves) was done (ie; 1 second) it was calmly explained "Ouch! That wasn't fun, was it? No, hitting hurts. It's a not-nice thing to do to people. We don't like that. Wouldn't you rather be nice? How about a hug? Hug's feel nice. Ok, now, can you use your words or show me what you want/need/were trying to say/made you upset?"

    I think this happened all of 4 or 5 times with my older, and a bit more with my younger, who being non-verbal is more easily frustrated, and a very physical person as well. My niece spit once.
    And that was it.
    There was no trauma involved, no mental anguish. My almost 13yo has no memory of it. My nearly 4 yo will sometimes cock a foot to kick and reconsider when Momma reminds him that kicking hurts, and is not nice, and does he really want to do that? ~And if it helps, while there were not many instances of kicking, just kicking was not enough for him. He had to throw himself on the ground to repeatedly piston both feet at you. I had bruises and he once split his father's lip when Hubby was sitting on the bed and DS flung himself down and started pistoning - the kid was serious about kicking!

    About other things, like not listening and getting into stuff ... at 13 months, talking to her beyond a few sentences and simple concepts - she just won't understand. You have to keep it very short and to the point. Like "Ok, let's go!" and then pick her up and leave. Not - and it's an easy trap to fall into - "Ok sweetie, it's time to stop playing with the toy, because Mommy has an appointment and we don't want to be late, so now we need to say bye bye to everyone. Are you ready? We have to say bye bye. C'mon, you can play with that toy later..."
    YOU are trying to be a sweetly reasonable non-control freak. All SHE knows at 13 months old is if she ignores you, you keep talking, and she keeps doing whatever she wants. There is no reason to pay attention to the endless sounds you're making. And if you stop making all that sound, that is her cue to pitch a fit, and that buys her 5 more minutes.
    <<<hug>>> It's hard. The age of sweet reason will come (LOL, not in the first 3 years) and then it will leave, and come back, and then go again. But really one day it will stay!! That's what my mother tells me!

    What I did about touching was One reminder "Momma said don't touch" and then as soon as one tiny finger reached I would "steal" their hands. Just take their hands and hold them still for a count of 10. Then I would say "Can you control your hands or does Momma need to?" and let go.
    No scolding or shaming (which I feel can very easily cross the line to abuse) - just 10 seconds of holding their hands still.
    If they were really feeling their oats that day, sometimes I'd have to do it a couple of times in a row. They'd look at me and reach "What did Momma say?" and they'd make sure I was watching and reach "Ok, Momma will help you with those hands!" and I'd hold their hands still again.
    And that was all it took!

    Now, it should go without saying that to a child any attention is better then no attention, and if misbehaving was the easiest way to get attention, then they would have been more persistent about it. But given the choice between positive attention or having their hands held still for a count of 10, they opted to color or something fun and hear Momma compliment them on how good they were being.
    You'll get through this!
    This is a great post, thank you so much! Seriously.

    She just had her 12 month appointment, and her pedi was very happy with how she is developing. Said she's pretty ahead of the curve and warned us that it might cause her some frustrations, but nothing that we mentioned sent up any red flags to him.

    We did just move about 2 weeks or so ago, so I'm wondering if the upset in her routine could be the cause of some of her behavior as well. I catch a lot of flack for being so strict about her schedule, but it's helped up immensely when she had issue sleeping.

    I really like a lot of your ideas. Especially grabbing her hands. Getting into stuff is the number one cause of her tantrums, and when I grab her hands or guide her away, she bites. We've tried to set her up for as much success as we can (i.e. not giving her a whole lot of opportunities to get into trouble).

    I'm going to put into practice some of the things that you've mentioned, as I do think that they will be very helpful. Just this morning DH mentioned that he squirted her with the water bottle when she wouldn't listen about getting into the cupboards under the sink. He said she thought about it for a moment, then came over and gave him a hug. Of course, she's always 100x's better for him... but he's also hardly ever around.

    I'm also thinking about introducing some simple sign language, until her speech develops a bit more. I think that that will cut down on some of the 'lack of communication frustration' issues as well.

    B- That video was really informative. I do want to handle her in the best way possible, so that she has the best chance of NOT growing up into Ted Bundy. Professional advice would be helpful as well. Thank you!
    Quote Originally Posted by MistyBlue View Post
    I prefer them outside playing as opposed to standing in the barn aisle playing "I can crap more than you"
    New Year, New Blog... follow Willow and I here.



  19. #19
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    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Have you thought about removing as much temptation from her home environment as possible? If she's grabbing things, box them up and put them away. Kid latches and locks on all cabinets (unless it's something you want her to play with.) Kid gates on the stairs. Try to remove the temptation for as many "no" things as possible. For the time being, if she were mine, I'd hire a sitter or send her to daycare for shopping trips, etc.

    Then, two choices for everything...you want to avoid the "no" answer. Do you want your juice in this cup or that cup...you get the drift.

    In other words, set her up to succeed, not to fail. BTDT, own the t-shirt. Although mine didn't hit or spit and the biting didn't last long at all. Time outs for biting. My brother used to say the only way to make sure my daughter wasn't in trouble was to put her in the playpen upside down and nail it to the floor.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  20. #20
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    Jan. 24, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by IneedanOTdayAlter View Post
    It's not PC these days, but when my son was a toddler, we did spank. It did NOT cause him to hit us, the way people always say it does.

    He was a MEAN hair puller as a toddler. If I was holding him, and preventing him from doing something he wanted to do, he would grab my hair and YANK. It was very, very painful, and the immediate reaction for me was a sharp smack on his fat thigh. It did not take very long before he realized that abusing his mother resulted in unhappy consequences.

    Like I said, I know it's not PC, but it sure does work. Flame away. I have a fantastic grown son that I adore!

    Exactly.

    I had five, and the instant they tried these things, and pretty much all kids do, they were told no strongly. If they did it again? Popped on leg and told NO.

    Same with biting, and hitting in face. NO, if ignored, pop on thigh with firmer NO.

    Rarely had to do more than one time, the pop on leg. It got message across. It did not make my children mass murderers, nor did it make them abusive.

    It did make them understand there are things that are not done. Biting, hitting, slapping and such are not done things.

    Think of it in terms of horse. Yearling strikes at you, bites you, kicks you. What is going to stop this behavior the quickest, and the most efficiently? Getting after them in such a way so as to make it clear this is not done.

    Children at this age are testing their boundaries. It is not child abuse to pop one on leg, or bite them. You are not going to draw blood, just come down hard enough that child realizes it hurts and that you are not going to put up with it.

    On an extremely sad note, in regards to this, I had run across a Berkley site, for parents and the sheer number of people who were going through this very thing with their kids, was horrific.

    What was even worse? These kids had been doing it since 12 month/18 months....and now were 10 and 11 years old and older, all because they had not stopped it when it first started.

    As for the book thing where kid is tearing books up? Oh no, I never put up with that either, as I would take book away completely. Playing games on kids destroying things, merely drags it out.

    Kids understand how to take care of things if they are taught.


    2 members found this post helpful.

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randomness