A: If I had a penny for each query I’ve obtained about 2-year-olds who hit their mother and father, I wouldn’t be a millionaire, however let’s say this: I might take myself on a really good trip.
There are a few factors that soar out at me right here, the primary being your reactions to the hitting. You point out the frequent strategies of timeouts, strolling away and scolding him, and belief me, I get it. I not often meet a guardian (myself included) who doesn’t cycle by these methods earlier than discovering them unsatisfactory. Why don’t they work? When a younger youngster hits, meaning there was an explosion of frustration vitality. The kid can’t deal with his massive feelings, and since he’s immature, the vitality comes out of his physique bodily. So, if we seize the kid and ship him to a step or a seat and anticipate him to sit down nonetheless and “be taught,” we’re including to his frustration. He’s too younger to sit down and is certainly too younger to be taught, so this method gained’t work. Scolding him, just like the timeout, will carry out disgrace in your younger youngster and lead to extra frustration and, therefore, violence. Strolling away and speaking to him are higher choices, however the way you do this stuff — the tone you set — is essential.
This brings me to the subsequent level I seen in your letter. Every thing you might have tried falls into the class of “response, response, response.” Don’t get me improper, residing with preschoolers mandates that we react to them, and sometimes. However there may be a lot we will do apart from react to your son’s massive feelings and hitting.
To start, make an inventory of what’s setting your son off. Clarifying the patterns will information you in the place to step in earlier than the tantrums and hitting start. As an illustration, possibly your son doesn’t acknowledge his personal starvation cues. Or possibly you discover that whenever you give too many instructions, calls for and selections, he turns into overwhelmed, resulting in a buildup of frustration. In both case, you may feed your son earlier than he turns into overwhelmed or you may decelerate your instructions, so he turns into much less annoyed. Prevention, relatively than response, is a extra peaceable option to guardian, and most significantly, our parental position isn’t merely to cease violence. We wish to have a deeper understanding of the “why” behind the behaviors, so we will compassionately help our youngsters. Because the saying goes: Your son isn’t providing you with a tough time, he’s having a tough time.
If he’s whaling on you, you might be completely allowed to stroll away. It’s a much better choice than scolding or timeouts. Sure, he’ll cry and comply with you, however you aren’t essentially making the scenario worse, which is nice. For those who can catch his frustration earlier than it brings violence, you may drop to his degree and say what you see: “Henry, I see you might be actually annoyed! Did the Legos fall once more? That’s so onerous!” Through the use of descriptive language, you might be able to join with him earlier than he turns into extra annoyed. This connection might assist him really feel seen and heard, in addition to compassionately supported, thus stopping the hitting.
Strive to not ask too many questions or use an excessive amount of logic, as a result of these strategies will add to his annoyance and — growth — violence.
If in case you have labored on these parenting strategies and have obtained help for your self, however you continue to see an uptick in his aggression, please converse to your pediatrician to rule out meals sensitivities, allergy symptoms, and so forth. Additionally, decide up Daniel Siegel’s e book “No-Drama Discipline” or my e book, “Parenting Outside the Lines,” for assist in understanding your younger man. Good luck.