When did this become okay?

When did this become okay?

My daughter has decided that hitting, kicking, scratching, and pinching are okay.

Aside from the obvious problems (it hurts, it’s not okay, it makes me angry, and it really tests my patience), I would really like to know where she learned to do it!

She doesn’t go to daycare. My husband and I do not hit her (or each other, for that matter). The only kind of physical punishment this kid has ever seen is getting tapped firmly on the hand if she does something dangerous (like try to open the oven or turn on the heater or try to stick her fingers in the fan) along with a stern “no!” She doesn’t watch television. She is rarely around other children, and when she is, she’s not getting pushed around or hitting any kids.

She doesn’t really hit my husband either. It’s just her mama who gets the brunt of her fury. Today, in the space of an hour, she hit me in the face, tried to scratch my face, grabbed my arm with her fingers clawed so her nails dug in and squeezed with this determined and very angry look on her face, kicked me when I tried to change her diaper, and head butted me. Though I think the head butting was an accident, it came after a long line of not accidents, and it caught me right in my mouth and hurt worse than any of the other stuff.

I’m at a loss. Disciplining her when she is still so little is tough. I tell her no, and if she hits, I take her hands in mine and (after saying no firmly), show her “gentle touch” by helping her touch my face softly. She likes that, and she copies me with her free hand. And she might stop hitting for a while after I show her that, but she starts up again eventually.

Is it just a phase? I don’t understand why she hits me and not her dad. And she pinched my mother-in-law a couple weeks ago, but as far as I know, other than that, it’s only me.

I mean, most of the time she doesn’t do that. But when she gets tired or angry, she does. I just can’t understand it.

I wish someone had warned me that the terrible twos started just after your baby turned one, and got worse as you neared the 18 month mark. I could have prepared myself better.

If anyone has any gentle suggestions for teaching her that hitting isn’t okay, I would love to hear them. I’m getting sore from all her jabs.

Beat Up Mommy


2 thoughts on “When did this become okay?

  1. My kid began that phase around 18mo and we started time outs with her in response. It has worked. She is also in daycare where she has been forced to learn by the daily interactions that it is not okay to attack other people. So my situation is a bit different than yours.

  2. I was going to say the same thing. My daughter will hit occasionally and we do time out. (We do time out for general punishment). At our last dr. appointment our pediatrician encouraged us to continue this approach. As a side note…we always go to time out with her. She is almost 16 months and would never stay on her own. She cries and hates it, but it works.

    Also, the reason children at this age bite or hit is because they verbally cannot express themselves when they are angry or frustrated. It’s quite normal, but definitely not okay and can be so annoying! Good luck!!

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