April 06, 2009,
R.S. asks from Vancouver, WA on April 05, 2009
Help... 15 Month Old Very Aggressive
My 15 month old son has been biting, pinching, hitting and kicking. When I try to tell him "that hurts" and "no" he laughs. I've tried telling him "no" sternly and turning my back to him and giving whomever he has hurt a lot of attention.. "I'm so sorry he hurt you" but he just thinks its all fun. It's very frustrating that he isn't getting it and its getting worse, he's biting, hitting, etc. harder. He also has been doing this with our family dog and I'm scared he's going to hurt her and she'll snap at him, she is a great dane so she could really hurt him. I don't take my eyes off of him, but things can happen so quickly. What should I do!?!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much for all the advice. My husband and I decided to try time-outs first. I thought he was too young to understand. But we've been putting him in his playpen for about 1-2 minutes every time he hits, bites, kicks, pinches for a couple of days now. I think he's getting it! yay! I even asked him when he started to try and hit me this morning if he wanted to go in "time-out" and he shook his head no! I am so happy this seems to be working, thank you so much for the suggestions. I know every child is different so its nice to have found what works for him! thanks! now on to the next problem.. sleeping through the night! haha
I.S. answers from Portland on April 06, 2009
My heart goes out to you. It's no fun dealing with a bully even if they are only 15 months old. Male or female some little ones are harder to train than others. You can talk to them and try to reason with then until you are blue in the face with no results. I have been there and have done that (23 yrs ago)...lol This is where the quote "Actions speak louder than words." comes in to play.
A dog has far more patients with little ones than you can imagine and your right they do have their limits. Since you have a dog, then you probably know that a dog naturally will nip and growl at their pups (or kids) if they're being unruly and biting. There is always a risk, Kids like pups need training :-)
Like a momma dog you may have to train him on a level he can comprehend (beat him at his own game). Biting him in the same place he bites, or pinching when he pinches...just hard enough to make it hurt (usually does not take much). You can tell what is hard enough by his facial expressions. Then you tell him ouch "that hurts" "no biting" "no pinching" etc.
Sometimes they only way they learn is by experiencing those painful feelings personally. Be sure to back up your actions by disciplining him with a time out. He needs to learn its not a game, not fun and not allowed.
Good Luck, getting a handle on it now will save you many years of grief down the road.
(mother of a aggressive female child)
P.S. Chamomile is a calming herb/flower than helps settle kids down.
2 moms found this helpful
A.M. answers from Seattle on April 06, 2009
I would start giving him a consequence for his action. I would tell him No sternly and then put him in a "time out" for 1 minute. When he bites your dog, tell him NO we don't bite "name of dog" we give her love and show him how to pet her and give her a hug. I know I will get a lot of boos on this one, but if it really continues to become a problem, bite him back so he see how it feels. I would only do this as a last result, but my cousin's daughter would not stop biting no matter what and she did this and she never bit again.
1 mom found this helpful
B.B. answers from Portland on April 06, 2009
My son was on the recieving end of numerous bites from one child. I was incredibly frustrated to see bite marks that turned to bruises on my son. The mother of the boy who was biting tried, redirecting, time outs, giving all the attention to my son, etc. The thing that finally stopped it was when she bit him and showed him what if felt like. Then he realized that it wasn't fun but that it actually hurt. I don't think he realized how much pain he caused, he was just playing. Once he knew about the pain part of it he stopped.
1 mom found this helpful
J.R. answers from Seattle on April 06, 2009
I feel your pain! My daughter who is 2 1/2 was the same way. It started early around 9 months with the biting... It was so frustrating for me and I think she did it out of frustration and part of teething. I think the nap idea was a great one. I didn't do that but I always calmly put her in her crib or a pack and play when she did it (more for a time out for me!). I think the key is to remain calm in your reaction because I think sometimes they are just going for the reaction/attention. She outgrew it but it was a very trying time. Good luck.
W.C. answers from Seattle on April 06, 2009
It is time to take him out of the room when he bites, hits, kicks, etc. When you do, stay very calm, (I know it is hard) and say you may not "....." Do this each time he does the miss behavior. He will at first laugh... but don't have any emotion.
If you keep doing this, he will get frustrated and then he will get mad. So he might throw temper tantrums. Keep calm and keep putting him in his room. Keep telling him that this is what happens when you ".....".
It will take a while, but don't give up. Start this when you can be home for two or three days, maybe just before a weekend when your husband can help out.
Good luck and good patience.
J.C. answers from Seattle on April 06, 2009
Oh, dear - this sounds like a bright little boy who has figured out how to get your 100% attention any time he wants it -- and that's what he's doing. My suggestion may sound harsh- but every first time he hits - WHOEVER - - oh, you're tired- you need a nap -''' - and put him to bed- 3 minute ''nap ''' every time--- you'll be exhaousted --- BUT after a day or so - he's going to find that listening to you and his big brother playing and laughing is not so cool- he'd rather be there
M.P. answers from Portland on April 06, 2009
I just thought I'd respond because my son was the same way and has grown out of that phase and I have a wonderful 2 1/2 year old.
I used to watch another child and when she would get dropped off, he would try to pinch and scratch her face. On his 15 month birthday I thought I had lost my sweet baby replaced by a toddler that seemed to need therapy. He would bite my arms or other kids if he got frustrated. Although everything I read said it was normal, I found it very disturbing. My husband and I are not aggressive people and very even tempered, so I couldn't figure out where it was coming from.
I started time outs on his 2nd birthday which really seemed to help. The book "1-2-3 Magic" is great for learning how to administer them effectively. Also, as his language skills progressed things got much better. I also got him into gymnastics to help get out energy and focus him a bit.
Anyway, he will grow out of it. Get the book "Teeth are not for Biting" to read at bedtime. Now Donovan reads it and tells the biters "NO".
I hope this helps, I know how hard it is to have an aggressive toddler and have people look at you like it's your fault. Just stay consistent and firm and ride out the storm. BTW, mine is even good with the pets now.
J.W. answers from Portland on April 06, 2009
Hi, we are going through the biting and hitting also right now. What seems to be working for us is using timeout for one minute at a time (since our child is also 15M) Each time he bites or hits he get one warning "if you bite/hit me one more time you will go into timeout"...if he bites or hits again he goes straight into time out. I have chosen a spot that is the consistent timeout spot for that room. If he tries to walk away from that spot I put him right back (at first i had to keep moving him back to the spot until he learned to stay put). Also, we had one situation where he hit me with a toy and it really hurt...in that situation I explained that he really hurt me and he lost the privilege of that toy for the rest of the night. If it would have continued to not understand the severity of the matter I would have had no problem to continue removing toys. Currently, if he hits or bites I warm him that he will go into timeout and he stops. He's not perfect but is most certainly has learned. Also, I worry where this aggression is coming from and wonder if he is not getting enough one on one time...so I am working on that too by spending more quality time with him.
Hope this helps and good luck!