Monday, June 28, 2010

Toddler discipline

Cameron has a new skill that I'm not fond of: hitting. I'm assuming she picked it up in daycare but for all I know hitting, like biting, is an inherent toddler skill.

We were in the splash area at the JCC and Cameron picked up two buckets that another child had abandoned. The kid, older and of course bigger, saw Cameron take them. He marched over, dropped the toys he was playing with and grabbed the two buckets. His name, by the way, was Adlai according to the buckets. Cameron was not happy to have her toys taken away. Usually she just cries and comes to me for comfort. This time she decided that running after Adlai and starting to push him was the best way to deal with the situation. Being a smart mommy, I figured out what she was going to do before it happened so I swooped in and picked her up before she could tackle the kid.

This redirected Cameron to lash out at me instead. She attempted to hit me with both hands. I held her hands saying, "No hitting" and attempted to redirect her. The hitting has become a pattern with her. If she is frustrated or tired or just doesn't get her way she will lash out. It usually happens once or twice a day. But that is once or twice too often for me. Mostly because I am the one holding her or trying to redirect her which means I bear the brunt of her anger/frustration. I think she's too young at 15 months for time outs but let me poll my readers: what will you/have you done to correct this kind of behavior in your toddlers?


Amanda said...

Holden bites and pushes. I am at the same dilemna about time outs but thinking that maybe a 30 sec - 1 minute time out in his crib or pack n play would do the trick. I'm afraid of waiting too long to start time outs and have him not take us seriously. I suppose its like saying no, you start saying no well before they really understand what your doing/saying.

Amy H said...

Ellie is 11 mo. and she balls up her fists and starts to scream when she gets frustrated. She also bites, but I don't think it's intentional because she's mad yet. We say in a stern voice, "No Biting Ellie". And she stops. So in short, no it's not too early for the temper tantrums, because at 11 months I know I've seen them!!!

Nicole S. said...

Ya, I think all toddlers know about hitting - its just natural. And annoying.

I definitely do my fair share of the "no hitting" chorus but to no avail. I still think its important to say but at this age, other methods seem to be more effective at actually calming them down. Mostly, I try to encourage them to do something else. Also, I have been making them apologize when they hit. They can't say the word sorry so I have them give the victim a hug/kiss. This may not work with a stranger but its good for family members and play dates. At this age, you can also remind them what they should do, ie: "use your words", "find another toy", "ask mommy for help" etc.

LauraC said...

Our day care started time outs at 12 months so that's what we did. Before 18 months, we did in-the-lap time outs where they sit in your lap facing away but you hold their arms.

As I always tell new day care parents, some months the kids are the hitter, some months they are the hittee! It goes in cycles.

Donna said...

We started time outs at about 20 mos but I wished we started earlier. It isn't easy for them to understand at first, but they get it pretty fast.