2 Yr Old Boy Hitting Others at Day Care

Updated on September 10, 2011
J.K. asks from Savage, MN
9 answers

I dont know what to do so I am writting here for help. now a days when I go to the day care to pick my son, I get a long lecture from the teacher about his hands(hitting other kids/pulling hair etc). she said they have been talking to him but still seems to be not better..He was pulling little girls hair and he does that to me too at home...we noticed he has been doing it only if girls or I have a pony tail...we thought it was curious to him....we talk at home too how it hurts mommy and how painful it wud be for the little girls when he pulls hair...Even when he hits his older brother (almost 4 year old), we make sure he says "sorry" and give his brother a hug.He gives one laugh when we say not to do that he doesn't take it seriouly..He is so stubborn in saying sorry and will not be ready to do until we give lot of threatening that he cannot play with us or get the candies etc... Hopefully this is just a phase . Any ideas on how to deal with this?

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answers from Sacramento on

We had a hitter at that age. Here's what we learned:
1. Don't force the "I'm sorry." This is viewed as a form of attention. You're focusing even more on him due to his bad action. It's counterintuitive, but you have to not force this.
2. Keep it simple. "No hitting" and remove him from the situation. Very clear: You hit = no attention. No talks afterward about what he did, how wrong it was, etc. Again, that's viewed as attention.
3. Try books. There are a number out there aimed at this group. Hands are not for Hitting is the first one coming to mind. They're really well done.
4. Talk later. Wait until a quiet time to talk about the hitting. Keep it short and mention hitting isn't ok. Talk about how he may feel when he hits and what he should do instead.

Good luck! And take a deep breath. I know it's a frustrating phase but it does end. :)

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

Have you ever pulled his hair to show him how it feels? Not maliciously, or anything, but talk to him about how it hurts and ask if he would like his hair pulled. Maybe just yank a bit to give him a taste. At his age, I'm not sure he realizes that other people feel pain like he does, so he may need to be shown that it does hurt.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

At this age it's simple repetition and distraction - 'hands are for (hugging, building, climbing - insert what you like here), not for hitting. And then give him something he can do. Hurting him (pulling his hair) will only teach him that it's ok to hurt people smaller than him (and that people who love you hurt you). I would be surprised that an experienced teacher would be lecturing you on this - she should know that talking to a 2 year old hours after the fact will be worthless and how to handle the issue. It is the rare child who does not experiment with hitting at some point. I would not force the 'sorry' for two reasons - it draws unnecessary attention to the hitting and you want him to learn (when he is mature enough to truly have empathy) to apologize because he is actually remorseful, not to get out of trouble. And it is a phase, just a rough one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

with my daycare, it's a simple matter of removing the hitter/biter/etc from the group. Time-out is away from our play, all crying must stop before the child can rejoin us....& an apology is given before play is resumed for the child.

I try very hard to be proactive in preventing all altercations, but they do still happen. These kids know that if I'm changing a diaper, life can become a free-for-all & are quite willing to pay the price when I'm free. Even 18 month olds are capable of becoming "crazy kids" during my busy times!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

My son did this to both boys and girls. I felt so horrible like this was how he was always going to be but it stopped as quickly as it seemed to come on. We did make him apologize, explain it was wrong and asked him to show us how we touch others. Someone also suggested to me to say "please tell your hands not to do that" and it really did make a difference with us. If he continued to do it in a situation even after the whole apologies were over we just had to take him out of whatever situation he was in. Good luck I know it is a hard phase to get through.



answers from Miami on

I have heard from experts two other ways to look at this phenomena:
1. Pulling hair etc is just another way of connecting and it is up to us to explain that such behavior is unpleasant for the other person ...makes them sad, upset etc.

2. Maybe such behavior is a child who is upset about something and does not know how to express yet. i started a ritual with my 3 year old. we review the day and I ask him each day if something upset him....I try to think of something he maybe cannot express ...and we process together.

good luck and hope this helps.


answers from Detroit on

I'm with Sara on this one.



answers from Rapid City on

2 minute time out each and every time he hits or pulls hair. Put him in time out then talk to him about how he hurt someone. It doesn't matter where you are, in the store, out to lunch, find a place for a 2 minute time out right then. I have even turned my back to my granddaughter when she hit me in the store and she was in the cart around that age. I always stood where I could make sure no one could grab her and she could see me but I didn't look at her, I kept my back to her. I also tell her that I don't like to be hit, I would rather be hugged. If he laughs, don't pay attention to it, he is trying to make you smile because he doesn't want you to be mad at him. afterwards make sure you let him know you love him but you don't like the action.



answers from Minneapolis on

It sounds like his consequence for hitting is getting lectured, and then having to say sorry. This isn't working, maybe because he is only two. Or maybe he likes the attention?

I think you and his teacher should talk as a team about how to handle this, and come up with a response to his behavior that will be the same at home and at daycare. I think removing him from the scene might get through to him. If he hurts another child, you would say something short to him (like, "You hurt ____. That is NOT okay."), then pick him up and quickly take him to a time out spot that is away from the rest of the kids. Leave him there for two minutes without talking to him further. When you come back, your voice is to be calm and loving, but firm. "You are in time out because you hurt ____. That is not okay. Are you going to do that again?" Wait for him to say no, then tell him, "We're going to go find _____ so you can tell her you are sorry. That really hurt her, and she cried."

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