November 10, 2007,
A.G. asks from Sanford, FL on November 08, 2007
Hitting Other Kids
Hello All, I have a 3 almost 4 year old little boy. He's an only child and it shows. He's great with adults and older kids, but when he gets around other kids his own age he pushes, hits, and sometimes bites. He's now in a smaller, less agressive daycare/school which I'm hoping will help with his social skills. He learned a lot of bad things at his first school. He's such a loving boy otherwise. I'm not sure what to do. It so hard to get a 4 yo to understand anything we say. Go figure! Advice from others varies. Some say take him to a pyschiatrist, which scares me and others just say he's a boy and will take time to grow out of it - just don't ignore.. What do you guys think??
So What Happened?™
Hello all, I want to thank everyone for taking the time to provide your feedback. My little guy has dramatically improved!! This new school was the trick. He goes in the morning and it's like an episode out of cheers. ISAIAH!!!!! They all scream and he's happy to be there. We have come to realize we still babied him and he likes not having to do anything.. Go figure! We cut that out and he's really toned down the aggression. Now his moments we can simply chaulk up to him being a normal little boy!! He's an energetic, fiesty, dirt loving boy! but most of all, he's much more loving and understanding of his actions now.. :) THanks everyone!!
L.K. answers from Orlando on November 09, 2007
In my personal opinion, the last thing he would need is the help of a pyschiatrist. Some boys tend to be more aggressive. It is good he is in a smaller setting. Try to explain to him that hitting is not okay behavior. If he is disciplined by spanking, try to use another method. I am not saying spanking is bad, he may just be copying. Help him to remember to use his words. Remember, he needs to be trained to have appropriate behavior, he will not necessarily get it through osmosis. I have a 10 1/2 year old boy who is a busy boy. He would be good sometimes and not good other times. Until we realized we as the parents needed to work on some things, we were just going along hoping things would work out. It may sound silly to some, but we just didn't get it right away. He is our first and we are still learning. I can say, our son's behavior has improved dramatically since we made a conscious effort to "train" him.
I hope this is helpful.
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T.W. answers from Orlando on November 08, 2007
Boys are agressive for the most part. I would say get him active in sports. You can go to the YMCA and enroll him in soccer, basketball, baseball, he'll be with other kids but he'll also be getting his energy out.
It's mostly because he's frustrated. He's at a stage in his development where he has intense feelings and is not really sure how to express them. He wants what he wants and if someone his size is standing in the way of that well he's got to move them somehow.
Get him active in things where he can work that out like sports, and talk to him about not pushing and hitting others.
Tell him it makes people sad when he hurts them and he needs to use his words not his hands when he's at school and such.
Then give him something to do where he can use his hands to manipulate the situation.
I really don't think the pyschiatrist thing is necessary at this age. Unless, he was expressing violent behavior to everyone all of the time.
Good luck and hang in there.
1 mom found this helpful
T.F. answers from Orlando on November 08, 2007
I think anyone telling you to take him to a psychiatrist is being extreme! Kids his age sometimes hit- especially boys. At his age, he DOES understand a grand majority of what you say. Use vocabulary that will help him really get it that what he is doing is not OK, like "We do NOT hit. Hitting hurts our friends." Be procative-- stay within arm's reach of him when he is around other kids and catch him before he hits-- that will help with what to say, too, depending on what is prompting him to take a swing at another child. Like "You do NOT hit! If you want that toy you have to wait your turn."
J.P. answers from Lakeland on November 09, 2007
When my son was about 3, he started biting everyone at his pre-school, and it became a big problem. With the support and cooperation of his teachers, here's what I did: I gave him a teether to carry around in his pocket. I explained that when he got very angry or frustrated with another child, he should take out his teether and bite it. The teachers were all in on it, and within a week, the problem had been solved. I explained (many times) that it's normal for kids to want to hit and push and bite when they're aggravated, but that doesn't make it OK. He got it, and giving him another outlet was the key to helping him change his behavior. (By the way, I did see a family therapist with my daughter when she was four; it was a really, really positive experience. The counselor gave me some good techniques to help her deal with some issues she was having, and I would highly recommend seeing a counselor IF you ever feel like it's warranted.)
P.P. answers from Orlando on November 08, 2007
A. SINCE THIS IS A PROBLEM THAT ONLY OCCURS TA DAY CARE. THERE WILL HAVE TO BE SOME DRASTIC MEASURE THAT WOLL HAVE TO BE TAKEN THERE. i COULDN'T BEGAN IMAGINE HOW THEIR DEALING WITH THIS PROBLEM. HOWEVER,MOST KIDS DO NOT LIKE TIME OUT OR PRIVILAGES REMOVED. YOU MUST NOT BE AFRAID TO ALLOW THEM TO IMPLEMENT THESE ACTIONS OF DISCIPLINE INTO HIS, EH IS A VERY SMART KID AND KNOW EVRY WELL WHAT HE IS DOING. JUST LIKE HE KNOW THAT TAKING TOYS FROM OTHER KIDS IS NOT OKAY. ONCE TOYS ARE TAKEN FROM HIM AND HE'S PUIT IN THE CORNER, NO LONGER THAN 4 MINUTES AT A TIME. TRUST ME, HE WILL GET THE MESSAGE. ALTHOUGH 4 MINUTES MIGHT NOT SEEM LIKE A VERY LONG TIME TO US, FOR AN ACTTIVE CHILD THAT IS A VERY LONG TIME. IT WILL WORK YOU'LL SEE.
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J.R. answers from Lakeland on November 09, 2007
I also have a very strong willed almost four year old. He is not yet in school or day care but when he is around other kids smaller than him he can be quite mean. At first I just tried to keep him from other kids but realized that was not helping his social skills. So I planned play dates with other children his age, only one at a time so that he could be watch carefully. I would watch them play and each time my son would start to get mean with the other child I would discipline him by making him sit out of play time for a few minutes. He didn't like it at all and eventually realized that he had to be nice to the other children. I know being in a daycare setting it is hard for a teacher to watch just one child all the time but maybe if you work with him individually he will learn from it and take it to daycare with him. Good luck to you!
M.M. answers from Orlando on November 10, 2007
I have a 4 year old (just had a birthday late October) and this has been a problem for us. He has 3 siblings so he wants what they have or to do what they are doing. He is getting better at expressing himself with words, though. I end up having to put him in time out or take away a privilege, which does work. He is getting better about not hitting and he does go to a daycare/preschool 3 times a week and this one is pretty good about catching this behavior. He doesn't do it as much now. He's down to maybe once or twice a month at school. At home it's more frequent, but less than it was even a month ago. I have found that spanking does not work long term. He hates time out, but it works. No tv, it works. No computer, it works. Having a reward system in place along with the time outs is necessary, because you want to also catch him doing good! Just don't make it too easy.
K.B. answers from Jacksonville on November 09, 2007
All the advice you have been given is great! Telling him to use his words, time outs, taking a favorite toy, and being consistent are all key to success...
Another avenue you may try is food allergy/intolerance testing. I know it sounds weird--but my 3 year old used to hit, push and bite...and I was doing everything right, and it just wasnt stopping. We found out that soy was the problem. Within days of taking soy out of his diet, he was a brand new kid!! Now we "every once in a while" pushing and such, but NOTHING severe, and nothing like it was!
You would be amazed how much foods effect our behavior--I sure was...I wasnt a believer at first, but now, no-one can ever convince me otherwise!
J.W. answers from Tallahassee on November 09, 2007
He doesn't need psychiatric help. A lot of kids his age hit for various reason. My daughter (almost 5) tries to hit us when she gets really mad, but she knows she's not suppose to and you usually see her thinking about whether or not to do it with her hand raised.
If he's frustrated for whatever reason and can't express himself that may be when he's trying to hit. Just continue to reinforce that hitting is not the solution and help him find other ways to express his anger. Sometimes I ask my daughter if she would like it if someone did that to her and she always says no. So she understands that hitting hurts and its not nice to hurt people.
Be consistant and ask the school to be as well.
S.S. answers from Tampa on November 09, 2007
I have three boys and I guess it did help as they are very sharing.. I will tell you that Ignoring is not an option -- a 4 year old understands very well if you explain the consequences to him -- make a chart of his behavior with his help -- and then
stick to the consequences when he does hurt someone. I have a color chart for my kids -- just like daycare -- and it works wonders -- everyone wants to be in Green or above so they can go to treasure box on Sunday. Let him feel how it feels to others when he hurts someone. At 2 they start understanding the result of their actions -- if it is right after -- so when he hits someone, may be take him away and tell him that Since you hurt someone (It does not matter whose fault it is -- you should not use your hands for hitting .. they are for helping, ask an adult for help), so you will sit down for whatever number of minutes .. and can not play.
Hope it helps.