Lots of people like to offer up excuses. He’s overwhelmed. She took his toy from him. It was too hot. He doesn’t know any better. But I know better.
My son is hitting people, and he knows exactly what he’s doing.
At first, it was only with me. I would come over and see what trouble he was up to and remove a potentially dangerous non-plaything from his hands. Then he would swat at my face. I was surprised, but I thought that perhaps he was just testing boundaries and seeing what he could get away with. I would answer with a stern “No! We don’t hit!” and look him in the eye. He looked right back at me like, “Okay, lady…whatever.”
I guess my tactics were not working, because soon he started literally expanding his reach, whacking the arms and faces of his grandmother, his father, his uncle, and anyone who dared put him in his highchair/take him away from playing/take toys or dangerous items away from him/or just be in his way. Each time, I would repeat the same line, grab his hands so that he couldn’t hit, and remove him from the situation. Each time he would look at me with this scowl of defiance that curdled my insides. I’m sorry, when did you become a teenager, little toddler boy?
My husband began to protest that my methods for “punishment” were not enough. “He’s not getting it,” he announced glibly when Lucas walked up to me while I was laying on the sofa and planted a smackaroo (and not the sweet kind) on my face just because I was there. Yeah, no shit, I thought, but I really didn’t know what else to do. How do you teach consequences to a 19-month-old? I decided to be patient and hoped that he would ride it out.
Then he started hitting babies.
Okay, Houston? We have a hitting problem. I can’t believe that my kid is THAT KID right now. I want to up the stakes so that he really understands this is not okay, but what type of punishment will work on a toddler? He’s too young for time-out, and I personally don’t believe in spanking. So, besides telling him no and taking him away from the person he is hitting (and taking toys away from him if he is playing with them), what can I do? Emergency assistance is needed. This mommy is tired of being smacked around.