Friday, June 24, 2011


Today I told my friend Stephanie that I'm worried Jason's going to be a criminal when he's older.

Why would I say such a thing about my son? you ask. Because he is only 18 months old and is already really violent. And not just accidentally. He's doing it 100% on purpose. It's out of aggression and frustration for not getting his way, not just as a means of discovering what his body can do. Today he hit my nose with his HEAD. Oh man that hurt. He also rammed me in the back with his head. Yay. He's found a new weapon. Usually it's just hitting, though. Lots and lots of hitting. I give him time-outs by setting him on my lap, holding his hands, and counting. Every time he does something else, I add 10 seconds.
It's not doing anything. He either sits there and takes it like it aint no thang or he does this angry grunting thing as he thrashes his head around. And the SECOND time-out is over, he whips around and hits me again. So it goes a little somethin' like this: hit, time-out, hit, time-out, hit, time-out, get away before he can hit me again.
And I don't know why! He's never seen hitting. I don't hit him, Dave doesn't hit him, neither of us hit each other.

WHAT DO I DO!?! Bed time is especially trying because I have to keep him close in order to get him ready. Last night, after being hit about a dozen times during his diaper change and a few dozen more while trying to put on his pj's, I felt like putting him in his crib, throwing in his pj's, and saying, "You can put your own pj's on then." Ugh. It is so frustrating and tiring, and it just makes me sad. I have a cute, cuddly, violent, aggressive little boy. :/

Please, if you have any ideas, tips, advice, ANYthing, I am in desperate need.


Marie said...

Oh man. This is a tough one. Kids usually do things for attention so the best thing to do when you want a behavior to stop is to take away your attention. So maybe instead of holding him on your lap when he does something bad, you could try walking away or putting him in his room alone...anything that gives him no attention for the bad thing he is doing.

I hope it gets better!

wendy said...

I don't have time to think right now, but we should have a phone chat or email so we can talk more. I echo Marie's good luck!

Karisha Browning said...

I agree with Marie. Both my kids went through this hitting and angry stage. He understands a lot even at 18 months. When he hits you set him down and tell him when he is ready to be nice to come see you, then walk away from him. He know he is getting attention when he hits and so forth that he will continue to do it. Hope you can figure it out!

Patti said...

Everyone else has good ideas I think. I would add that when Sam won't sit in time-out on his own we put him in his room and hold the door shut until his time-out is over.

Even better advice is to check out 1-2-3 Magic from the library. It's on DVD and there's also a book. I haven't read the book but what I learned on the DVD really works. Good luck!

Heather and Jake said...

I'm sorry, that's so rough! I've just dealt with tantrums, and Cami went through a phase of grabbing/scratching her dad's face whenever he would hold her. He'd just set her down and sometimes send her to timeout, where she has to stand/sit by the wall for a minute, or put her in her crib to cry it out. I agree that you don't want to have him close or give him attention when he's acting up/hitting. Hopefully it'll get better for you soon!

And p.s. Sounds good...we'll do it in a couple weeks and can go at whatever time works!

Wendy said...

Hi Heidi,

I would LOVE to have you come for a visit. My sister is getting married mid-September in SLC so I hope we don't miss each other.

As for the hitting, first of all I offer my condolences. James has been a hitter and a biter too. I'm of the opinion that time-outs or any sort of discipline at this age won't work. I would go for distraction. If he hits, say "we don't hit" then switch to moving him into a more desirable behavior, " do you want a high five?" and give him a high-five or play pat-a-cake...whatever you can think of. During diaper changes, give him a toy to play with to keep his hands busy. When James would bite me it always took me by surprise and I would screach out an OUCH, then say we don't bite. He has finally outgrown it, but it took a long time. I think he did it when he needed my attention and now he can communicate better so it has slowly faded away.

Good luck!

Egbert Family said...

I can't wait until you see the terrible 2's or 3's it only gets more frustrating. I had to throw Landon in his high chair and face him towards the wall, that only lasted 3 weeks until he was ready to stand and stay put. It was important to me and my relationship with Landon to let him know why he was in time out and I told him every time that when he stops crying and is ready to make good choice he can come spend time with the family again. Now that he's older we have him leave the room the family is currently occupying. Normally he runs upstairs counts to three and comes down with a big smile. I don’t care if he is in a bad mood I only care when it affects others. The first while it took 10-15 minutes to calm down and stop crying now he simply counts to 3 and is ready to be happy again. Jason will learn quick enough how to manage his emotions, it will be up to you to set your boundaries and teach him the best way to communicate with people.