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Old 05-02-2015, 01:31 PM   #1
Gmoney
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Default 4 yr old boy - won't stop hitting me

My son hits us (his parents) when he doesn't get what he wants. Sounds silly I know but it's becoming heartbreaking. I've promised never to hit my child because it was traumatic for me as a child to be hit. I never imagined i would be constantly struck by my own precious son.

He's just turned 4 and its only us that he hits. It's all the time. At home or in public and he also screams and shrieks when he doesn't get his way and doesn't let up. I feel like a shitty parent. We've tried a number of things like ignoring, getting down to his level and speaking kindly, setting clear boundaries and the like. But he just keeps hitting and getting so so frustrated at things that would seem small to you and me.

I'm afraid now because my wife says maybe he's autistic. That is scary. Of course the love is unconditional but I don't want that.

Any ideas ?
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: 4 yr old boy - won't stop hitting me

What worked for me, when my toddlers had a tantrum, was to be stern. Don't get hung up on the fact that he's hitting. It's a tantrum, whether he's screaming, rolling around on the floor, throwing things, or hitting. So treat it like a tantrum: address it immediately, be stern, and show that it never works.

When tantrums happen at home, I told my kids no, picked them up if they didn't respond, and put them straight to bed. If it was a public place, we just left. Yes, it's inconvenient, but so is trying to finish shopping or checking out while your toddler throws a tantrum. I picked them up, took them straight to the car, buckled them up and went home. If I had frozen items in the cart, usually I made a detour to put them back first, but nothing time-consuming.

Reasoning with a child is very important, but if they're not in reasoning mode, it isn't going to accomplish anything. It may even frustrate them more. Have you ever tried sitting down and working through a complicated issue when you're frazzled? It's better to wait until you're calm. Even more so with children. And I think 90% of the time, tantrums coincide with being tired. If not, they'll learn to control themselves because they know they'll have to go to bed if they have a tantrum. If you're consistent, it will work. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion of autism, because most kids (and even autistic ones, I hear) respond quite well to consistency and routine.
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Old 05-04-2015, 12:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: 4 yr old boy - won't stop hitting me

^This.

And you can also take away privileges. The first time take away one thing he really enjoys. The next time take away 2 things he likes and so forth. I once grounded my daughter from paints and markers for a month. She never destroyed the walls or anything else she wasn't supposed to after that. in my house the punishment fits the crime (but no spanking, of course). If you want to find the source of his hitting, you should start observing what it is he's being exposed to. Does he have older brothers that play violent video games or watch violent shows, or even comedy shows that depict violence?

Often when my daughter acts up I give her a count to 3 to stop or she gets punished and It's a rarity that I ever get to 3, and only sometimes I get to 2. For some reason she stops and apologizes at 1. That's something that works for me and I've kept to it.

There have been quite a few disciplines that have gone trendy, and all state that they work with all kids. That is not true. Some kids need more discipline and strictness than others. You just have to try different things until you find the one trick that does work on your son. Also, warnings, such as the 1,2,3, that I use can be a lifesaver. Or you can think of really clever, creative ways to teach him a lesson.

Sometimes adults forget that kids are often deep in their own worlds and slightest change in their activities will set them off. Which reminds me of the time my mom returned my daughter to my place, livid, because my daughter threw a tantrum in the middle of Chapters. Just recently my mom was telling this story and I asked her, "Did you give her warning times of when you were leaving the store?". This was the 'aha' moment when my mom realized she didn't. I told her that I thought I found it odd that she freaked out because she never acted like that with me but I always told her how many more minutes she had to play with Thomas. (Chapters always had a Thomas the Tank Engine set on a table in the kids section of the bookstore. She was obsessed with Thomas.)
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:17 PM   #4
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Default Re: 4 yr old boy - won't stop hitting me

thanks for taking the time to reply.
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