1y4m: Hitting

We’re having a tricky time. AJ is hitting at the child minder’s. He is 1 year and 4 months. He does not learn to hit at home from any of us. No one at the child minder’s hits. I wonder where he’s got it from. There was one incident when he joined at the very start. The other baby, a few months older than him, Ethan, gave him a good whack on day one. AJ did not like this at all. For days after that, he saw Ethan and pretty much ran the other way. Both kids are actually lovely kids – no idea what got into them. Then one day, AJ just whacked him right back, unprompted. I wonder if he’s learned that if he’s physical first then he can assert himself? Over to any child psychiatrists who fancy enlightening us?

I don’t know, but it’s not great. I have spoken to a few different people who have boys who have said quite often this is the way boys are, they have a different energy from girls. Lolo is quite high octane, but he just seems to throw himself into and ‘at’ more things with more blind gusto. I also take that with a pinch of salt, as I still believe you can teach kids manners. I do think it is a bit of a phase as I remember Lolo going through something similar but I do not remember it lasting this long. I think he will grow out of it, just when, before a big kid whacks him one I hope.

The big question of course is how do you help teach him it’s wrong. How do you discipline? Or do you even discipline? If you discipline does this make it more of a thing, something he gets more attention from, are we fuelling his fire? I’ve tried smacking his hand a couple of times; if you do it lightly he thinks it’s hilarious and just laughs (, cutely – its really annoying / you can’t helping laughing with him) and if you do it hard so he’s uncomfortable, well I just think that reaffirms to him that hitting is ok. The other methods of telling him no, over and over again don’t seem to work, so we’ve resorted to time outs. He’s a social (cheeky) butterfly, so removing him socially hopefully will change his behaviour eventually. It’s just so looooong. And you pick your battles but I just can’t be bothered to have this argument with him 20 million times a day, I’d rather just ignore it. And oddly enough he doesn’t really hit me. Sometimes he tries but I dodge him before he gets to me, I say no and then he tends to put his hand out to stroke me/my face/my nose gently. It’s everyone else that seems to get it the worst. But, I would feel upset if someone chose to ignore if their kid was hitting, so I choose to do something about it. But I’d much rather wait for it to blow over. Discuss.

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