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My 4 year old hits me when she’s unhappy. How to react
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amother




Blonde
 

Post Tue, Jul 27 2021, 1:59 pm
#BestBubby wrote:
When I was 4 y.o. sitting next to Mother on couch, Mother told me "No"
and I raised my hand to hit her.

Mother caught my hand and in a very very serious tone said

"You must never ever ever pick up a hand to a Mother or Father.

This is a very Big Aveira. Never. Never. Never."

and I never did.

It was like warning me to never run into the street.


That's a great story.
Truly.

The other year DS 4 wanted cookies for breakfast.
I said no.
He picked up his hand to hit me
I got down on his level and said "we may never hit a parent. It's a big average"
You know what happened next?
I turned to get something and he started hitting and kicking me "I want cookies, I don't care about aveiros"
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amother




NeonYellow
 

Post Tue, Jul 27 2021, 2:01 pm
She’s probably using hitting as a way of expressing a need (food, drink, attention…)
Using too many words won’t work once the child is spiralling in that negative behaviour.
Just keep it short: “we don’t act like that” and bring her to a calm down spot where you set a timer and give her some calming toys to use (stuff that she can squish, press or twist to let her anger out- keep them in a box out of reach to be used only for that purpose)
Try to designate the calm down spot and discuss what happens there when she’s in a good mood so she knows what to expect if this behaviour happens again.
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#BestBubby




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Jul 27 2021, 2:56 pm
amother [ Blonde ] wrote:
That's a great story.
Truly.

The other year DS 4 wanted cookies for breakfast.
I said no.
He picked up his hand to hit me
I got down on his level and said "we may never hit a parent. It's a big average"
You know what happened next?
I turned to get something and he started hitting and kicking me "I want cookies, I don't care about aveiros"


So then there has to be a punishment.

But you should not ignore such behavior.

It is much harder to get older kids to stop when it is an engrained habit.
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amother




Nemesia
 

Post Tue, Jul 27 2021, 3:23 pm
ugh yes do ignore best bubby.
read Janet Lansbury - search her site for hitting
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amother




Banana
 

Post Tue, Jul 27 2021, 5:09 pm
op my son is six and does this when he doesnt get what he wants....

these are great kids until they are angry that they are being told to do something they dont want to do or that they cant do/have something they want

its not a typical child so typical things dont work bec timeout etc worked with my other kids not this child

like another person said, we do need to teach these children how to calm down and what to do with their anger and cant just say "its okay bec they are angry or tired"

so this is easier said than done but I tell my son to blow out /punch the air....I like the idea of punching a pillow etc this is not magic...these are challenging kids so it will take a lot of time and patience

I really think some of these children need therapy to learn how to control their emotions and sometimes the cause is add/adhd

I am a great mom and dont let my children be in control, but my 6 yr old who hits when angry has this challenging aspect that others dont have....only parents here who have children like this understand....you need a lot of patience

hatzlacha
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amother




Coffee
 

Post Sun, Aug 01 2021, 11:35 pm
SuperWify wrote:
My 4 year old is just like that. We used to gently hold him down but he would scream- “stop breaking me” as if were hurting him (which we certainly are not Sad) I realized he was interpreting it as if we’re “hitting him right back” which was just teaching him that hitting is ok and want making him feel safe.

So what’s works is walking away and calmly saying- I don’t feel safe when I’m getting hit/kicked/smacked/pinched ect. I’m going to walk away until I see that your calm again. I know your upset but you can use your words.

It’s hard to keep your cool- believe me I’ve lost out many times, but it seems to be working much better bh.

The other day my baby accidentally kicked him and he tells me- ma I don’t feel safe from the baby.

It was a sweet victory because I knew he learned something. I told him in a case like that he needs to walk away. Just like I do Wink


I do similar.
I put myself in time out.
my four yr old HATES it.
I say, I need to go to my room to calm down because xyz...(she screamed at me, she hit me etc)
then I go to my room and lock the door.
I relax, I check my emails, I read. if she knocks, I tell her I'll come out when I'm calm and when I feel she's ready to behave respectfully.
by now, usually I just need to give a warning that I'll need to go for a time out in my room and she improves her behavior....
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amother




Coffee
 

Post Sun, Aug 01 2021, 11:44 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I love you for taking the time to write this, but no. I need a tactic that can work and this tactic doesn’t work. I’m not gonna spend 2 hours on it I’ll use a different method. Not every child reacts well to every punishment. I’m trying to be a little flexible and find what works


this is from rebetzin spetner- the best punishment for the child is when it's a punishment for the parent.
I know "authority" isn't in vogue today, and I'm a young mom myself, but I do think kids feel safer, at the end of the day, when there's a parent who, yes, has the authority to say, - the buck stops here.
and yes, kids need to listen to parents. I am your wall and I will help you set boundaries.
how scary does it feel for a four yr old knowing she can control her mom? knowing her mom has NO CONTROL over her? knowing her mom DOES NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO when she doesn't listen?
this is not about hitting you.
this is creating safety for your child, by yes, asserting authority and NOT showing flexibility when it comes to certain things.
if she is out of control, you can envelop her in a tight hug (that she may fight) and calmly say, I'm helping you help yourself, and just keep on repeating. I did this once with one of my boys. eventually he just relaxed and I ended up massaging him and he was calm.
in terms of kids listening, if mom says she needs to go into her room (and you didn't phrase it as an option) then she absolutely needs to go into her room. even if you need to miss something that night. or you need to order in dinner.
that's the route I would go. I'm not quoting rebetzin spetner verbatim but this is the essence of what I learned in her classes.
if you're not sure if she will listen, OR YOU DON'T HAVE THE TIME, PATIENCE ETC TO FOLLOW THROUGH, then don't give a direct command. don't say- sweetie, go to your room. you can say something more vague like, "it's calm down time now, I'm going to my room to read."
if you can get sara yaroslovitz's book on parenting I think it will offer a lot of clarity.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Aug 01 2021, 11:56 pm
amother [ Coffee ] wrote:
this is from rebetzin spetner- the best punishment for the child is when it's a punishment for the parent.
I know "authority" isn't in vogue today, and I'm a young mom myself, but I do think kids feel safer, at the end of the day, when there's a parent who, yes, has the authority to say, - the buck stops here.
and yes, kids need to listen to parents. I am your wall and I will help you set boundaries.
how scary does it feel for a four yr old knowing she can control her mom? knowing her mom has NO CONTROL over her? knowing her mom DOES NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO when she doesn't listen?
this is not about hitting you.
this is creating safety for your child, by yes, asserting authority and NOT showing flexibility when it comes to certain things.
if she is out of control, you can envelop her in a tight hug (that she may fight) and calmly say, I'm helping you help yourself, and just keep on repeating. I did this once with one of my boys. eventually he just relaxed and I ended up massaging him and he was calm.
in terms of kids listening, if mom says she needs to go into her room (and you didn't phrase it as an option) then she absolutely needs to go into her room. even if you need to miss something that night. or you need to order in dinner.
that's the route I would go. I'm not quoting rebetzin spetner verbatim but this is the essence of what I learned in her classes.
if you're not sure if she will listen, OR YOU DON'T HAVE THE TIME, PATIENCE ETC TO FOLLOW THROUGH, then don't give a direct command. don't say- sweetie, go to your room. you can say something more vague like, "it's calm down time now, I'm going to my room to read."
if you can get sara yaroslovitz's book on parenting I think it will offer a lot of clarity.


I took this course!! I and forgot about holding them tight and saying I’m helping u help yourself! Thanks for the reminder!
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amother




Coffee
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 12:04 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I took this course!! I and forgot about holding them tight and saying I’m helping u help yourself! Thanks for the reminder!


cool!!!
I took it years ago, then my kids went through some stuff where I had to just be in survival mode (they were in treatment for something- so I sort of put everything else on back burner) but it's slowly coming back now!!
I have a 4 yr old girl also!! she's the youngest and she thinks she can get away with everything!!
she's yum and a handful! so I'm slowly trying to put things back into place, like giving her the safety of knowing that she is only four and that's ok, and no, she doesn't control the world or her parents!!
and her parents love her, know what's best for her and we will stop her if she's doing something harmful to herself or other members in the family (like scratching etc- sheesh, we need to keep her nails short!!)
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amother




Snowflake
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 12:39 am
OP, I have a kid who sounds similar.

Here's what helped:
Try to avoid the power struggle whenever possible. So she asks for candy for breakfast. Instead of saying a flat No, can you tell her she can take it for a snack? Or Not for breakfast but I made you special yummy muffins, or a choice between cereal or a smoothie and she can pick the berries. Etc.

The point is that you keep the tone positive and give her choices so she feels she's still in control and getting what she wants. Acknowledge her request but move on to the other choices, don't dwell on the No you Can't part.

It still might not work. If she reacts by yelling or crying I would ignore. Tell her calmly and with eye contact that you will speak to her when she's calm. Offer to hug her or sit on your lap. But otherwise your body language needs to demonstrate that you're not affected by her behavior.

That said, hitting you can't be ignored. I would try to physically stop the hitting by holding her hands or hugging her, make eye contact and say We don't hit. When she's quiet enough to hear you, go to step one. Validate her request and her disappointment but move on quickly to the choices.

You can also try throwing in some positive options like, Tell me quick, do you want banana or blueberries in your smoothie? If there's time I'll read you a book when you're finished. To get her off the topic.
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BatyaEsther




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 12:44 am
#BestBubby wrote:
When I was 4 y.o. sitting next to Mother on couch, Mother told me "No"
and I raised my hand to hit her.

Mother caught my hand and in a very very serious tone said

"You must never ever ever pick up a hand to a Mother or Father.

This is a very Big Aveira. Never. Never. Never."

and I never did.

It was like warning me to never run into the street.


Sorry, but in our house we teach Ahavat Hashem.

I would catch her hand, scoop her up and tell her that Hashem gave us hands to do mitzvahs. Now let’s sit together, and come up with some nice mitzvahs that we can do with our hands. I would tell her that hitting is not acceptable, and if she hits, there will be consequences. Ask her what she thinks appropriate consequences should be. You might be surprised by what she says after she first tries telling you nothing. You also should have her tell you what would be better ways of expressing herself other than by hitting, as once again hitting is not acceptable,Hashem did not to give us hands from hitting, and once again hitting does have consequences. When she uses her words, you need to make sure she feels heard and you need to provide positive reinforcement. Additionally, please try to change your perspective that you don’t have time to properly mechanech her as you are too busy (be it with other children or a job, or running your home, or doing chessed for others) Every individual child is a priority, and needs to feel important, that they are your priority. Your number one job is to properly teach them, as an individual and as per their path/way of thinking and abilities and not for you blow them off because you have other things to do.

ETA-Some thing I wanted to say before but forgot. It may be important for you to reinforce with her why she cannot have what she wants. You may need to sit with her quite a few times when she gets upset like this for not getting her way and Remind her that Mommy always has her best interest in mind. That mommy loves her, cares about her, wants her to be happy, but also healthy and safe. I would also ask her can she think of three reasons (other than that Mommy is mean) of why candy is not a good plan for breakfast and what might be something appropriate to eat. You need to approve of her reasons and provide reasons she did not thing of as well. The point being not that not only is candy is not a good breakfast but rather that mommy always has her best interest in mind and that she needs to trust that mommy is looking out for her.

If a child is only doing this as a cry for attention, they may genuinely need more attention.
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Ridethewaves




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 2:41 am
There’s lots here. I think rav chaim pinchas sheinberg used to advise on hitting. If you see child about to hit catch his hand and give a gentle kiss. Say to child I know you would never mean to hit mommy or even “we’re you trying to make nice to me?Smile” depends on kids personality. Most kids are just angry in the moment and don’t mean to hurt you. For me this has really worked. I can’t remember the last time a toddler hit. My one year old on the other hand… also end off with, “I love you”. My kids would feel too guilty hitting after that.
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shaqued_almond




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 9:05 am
Imo the problem is that you're not ready to make time to discipline her properly. Some kids are naturally compliant and don't need a lot of reminders or warnings. Other kids, and I have 2 of those, need multiple instances where you have to hold their hands for five minutes. If you put her in the room for five minutes and she comes out and hits again, guess what? She's going to the room for ten minutes now or as long as it takes for her to get a grip. You'll tell her that she can come out when she's ready but it's not safe if she hits. Only once she's calming down you can level with her. Believe me you won't have to be harsh with her for a long time every time. Only as long as it takes for her to get it
The HALT explanation is true and you can talk to her about finding ways to calm down before it gets too overwhelming. Another thing is natural consequences. You want a cookie? Hitting mommy is not the way to get it and because you tried to hurt me you won't get one for a few days. In the meantime you can eat bread.

This is my experience, my first used to hit me when he was three and it took multiple (maybe 15) instances of time out to get him to stop. He tried it again a few months later and I reached my limit, I picked him up and held him in my hands and I said " you don't think I could hit you back? I can hit you back, I'm stronger than you. Do you want me to do it? I don't want to do it so stop!"
I frightened him but I didn't hit him and he never tried hitting me again.

Number 3 was also a hitter and needed a few time outs. What was different though was that I found out that it was a language barrier. He'd hit (mostly his brother) and I'd hold him until he realizes it's not a game (3-5 minutes). Then I'd decode what he wants "do you want him to give you the toy? Let's ask." I still have to do it sometimes.
Parenting is hard and it takes time. Back in the day parents would hit their kids and most times this would force them quickly into compliance. I'm sure I don't have to explain to you why this is not recommendable. The right way takes more time but it's worth it in the end.
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amother




Chocolate
 

Post Mon, Aug 02 2021, 3:27 pm
mha3484 wrote:
I learned this from a social worker and I find it really helpful.

HALT- Hungry Angry Lonely Tired.

Whenever my kids are exhibiting a negative behavior it is always one of those 4 causes. Once I figure out which of the 4 I can usually manage it before it spirals downhill too fast.


Need to put that on the fridge.
Although for my child, this is often not the case, it's a good run through checklist to make sure it's not the case.
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