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My son is nearly 15 months old and he is getting very violent with certain people including myself, but not his father. Always slapping me and others in the face or throwing things at us. After saying ‘no’ firmly he just looks at me and does it again. He seems to know what he is doing but continues to do it anyway…. any advice would be great thanks.


Posted by Mouths of Mums ROCKS!, 7th May 2014


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  • I am very wary of using the bedroom as time out. I tried that with one of mine. He didn’t want to go to bed because he thought it was punisment because it was the same room. Some are claustrophobic if you face thewm into the close confines of a corner. Sitting then in a particular corner or another designated spot is a good idea. Think about a safe spot where they are normally allowed to be. At other times of the day you may not want them to be in that spot.


  • Perseverance!!! We need a lot of this with kids. You need to keep speaking firmly. If he slaps you while playing a game, say no firmly and walk away, stop the game and ignore him for a bit


  • The advice I was given was to make eye contact and firmly say no, if he continues remove him from that situation or distract him with another acitvity


  • He’s only 15 months old, I don’t think he really fully understands what he’s doing. Continue with the firm ‘NO’ every time he does it and maybe grab his hand to emphasise the no. He’ll eventually get the hang of it and learn it isn’t the done thing. Hex only a baby…


  • I disagree that it is a learnt behaviour, its all about exploring and testing boundaries. My daughter used to pull my glasses off and try to see if my eyes were attached or if they could also be removed. Another time she used two fingers and stuck them up her father’s nostrils,, then tried to pull him towards her using his nose (it was hilarious and I had to leave the room). She adores her daddy but he also got hit in the head with a singing teapot. She used to throw her toys and for her it was sign she was tired and frustrated, I’d put her to bed and she’d be asleep within minutes.


  • He has learnt this behavior. Does he attend play group or day care? He may have had an experience with other children, or from watching TV. If he attends day care he will learn it is not allowed to hit people or throw things.
    He may also be experiencing stress and becoming frustrated, and his way of expressing this is to hit and throw. Has anything changed at home?
    Allow him play opportunities to throw balls, frisbies and other throw items. Then teach him that throwing is for outside play not inside the home. As for hitting, he needs to be stopped. Grab him from behind and hold him tight, with his arms by his side and gently tell him it is okay and then once he is settled, tell him why we don’t hit others. Let him know it hurts, pretend to cry so he knows he has hurt you.
    Give him plenty of opportunities to play in a park, learn to swim, ride his bike etc. Play hand games with him where he uses his hands in action songs. Praise him when he has played nicely with others. Ask him why he hits you. If he is being really defiant, when he hits and throws, remove him from where he is and have him sit on a little mat. (you can take a little mat everywhere, it can be the calm down mat, he has to sit on until he becomes calm) and he has to stay there until he can behave nicely. Each time he gets up take him back to the mat. When he sits on the mat have him away from everyone or at least have him face a wall. He does not need to have an audience.
    If he is having really severe meltdowns it may be worth considering seeing your GP and referral to a Child Psychologist, just to rule out Autism or some other disorder.


  • We use a thinking chair. it is in the laundry. My daughter is nearly 3 and gets cross if I sit in it to fold washing, she will say, no Mummy thats for when the children are naughty. They learn quick.


  • You can only firmly say No and remove them the toys/room etc, its a long learning curve but kids just like to push the limits!


  • My 19 month old son is quite head-strong and I don’t know about other’s toddlers, but mine won’t listen to time out lol.

    The main things I try to do are be firm and use language I know he understands like that’s not nice, that hurts, etc. I look him in the eye and ask him to be nice and please don’t hurt me, or others. I use distraction too, after being firm. It’s really hard at this age isn’t it!


  • time outs work great 1 minute for every year of their age


  • My son used to do that a lot in the past few months. He’s stopped doing it now because one day I had enough and smacked him on the hand and said, see how this feels? It’s not nice. He stopped doing it ever since and now if he does something naughty I say, I’m going to smack your hand again. He straight away stops because he remembered what that felt like. I know a lot of parents say don’t hit your kids. I was beaten up a lot as a kid by my mum for bad behaviour. I still love her and was glad that she put that fear in me that there are consequences. I hardly smack my kids. But I do warn them that if they keep behaving like that. That’s what’s coming either on the hand or on the bum. My point is, it doesn’t have to be smacking. But they need to learn the consequences for bad behaviour. Whether it be, time out or taking away certain privileges.


  • Get dad to discipline most of the time, he might not see you as the boss but he sounds like he sees dad that way


  • i used a time out chair


  • is it a fight to gain position in the pecking order, obviously he sees dad as top dog and is fighting against you. can you ignore the behaviour?


  • You might have to get your partner to let him know that slapping mummy is not good and both you and your partner tell him with a firm no and maybe both saying might stop him from doing it!


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