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Forum -> Parenting our children -> Toddlers
Dd hurts me to get my attention
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 2:56 pm
If I don't give her my attention right away and she wants something, she'll pinch, bite, scratch, or slap me. The slaps only hurt on my face, but the pinches and bites can rlly hurt! She hurts DH too, but less.

I took advice from here and whenever she hurts us DH and I will hold her arms tightly for 10-15 seconds and say firmly "I won't let you hurt me" or "ouch that hurts." I'll also put her down or walk away and say it.

It seemed like it was helping but lately it's gotten worse again.

Sometimes I lose my cool and yell "OW!" or "STOP hurting me!!" I also react instinctively sometimes and can push her away or get very angry and upset.

I know she's so little (under 2) but I don't react well to getting hurt.

What should I do?
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amother
Ivory


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 3:02 pm
I dont know you or her so no judgment but this may be her way of asking for more love and attention from you
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amother
Seashell


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 3:07 pm
You have to stop the loud reactions because she’s going to do it more. I’d make a huge deal over the times she asks nicely and give her instant attention even if you are busy to teach her it’s what works.
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AlwaysGrateful




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 3:50 pm
amother Seashell wrote:
You have to stop the loud reactions because she’s going to do it more. I’d make a huge deal over the times she asks nicely and give her instant attention even if you are busy to teach her it’s what works.


Yes, this. It's so hard to control your response, but it's the only way to make it less entertaining for her.

The other thing you can do is teach her how you DO want her to get your attention. How are her verbal skills? Can you teach her to say "Mommy, help?" or "Mommy, look?" Or at least "MAMA!" Or you can teach her that if she wants you she can tap you, and practice it with her. I'd say practice over and over again, making it a sort of game. And if she does something wrong, say calmly but firmly, "NO. If you want Mommy, what can you do?" And then let her practice it some more. And when she does it the right way, make a big deal about it, clapping and cheering and telling Bubby and Daddy and everyone else about it, reminding her at bedtime about the time she did it right, etc.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 4:31 pm
amother Ivory wrote:
I dont know you or her so no judgment but this may be her way of asking for more love and attention from you


How would I know if I'm giving her enough love and attention?

I give her a lot of love and I give her attention until I start to go nuts and need a mental break.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 4:33 pm
amother Seashell wrote:
You have to stop the loud reactions because she’s going to do it more. I’d make a huge deal over the times she asks nicely and give her instant attention even if you are busy to teach her it’s what works.


I know I have to stop the loud reactions, but they're an instinctive response to getting hurt sometimes.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 4:34 pm
AlwaysGrateful wrote:
Yes, this. It's so hard to control your response, but it's the only way to make it less entertaining for her.

The other thing you can do is teach her how you DO want her to get your attention. How are her verbal skills? Can you teach her to say "Mommy, help?" or "Mommy, look?" Or at least "MAMA!" Or you can teach her that if she wants you she can tap you, and practice it with her. I'd say practice over and over again, making it a sort of game. And if she does something wrong, say calmly but firmly, "NO. If you want Mommy, what can you do?" And then let her practice it some more. And when she does it the right way, make a big deal about it, clapping and cheering and telling Bubby and Daddy and everyone else about it, reminding her at bedtime about the time she did it right, etc.


Thank you, I'll try this.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 4:40 pm
A follow up question, she usually does start by just tapping or something more acceptable like whining, but I don't always respond right away and that's when she moves to hurting. Responses so far are saying to respond right away when she asks the right way, but do I really have to respond immediately to her every time, because that's very difficult to do on a regular basis. Sometimes I'm just not paying attention, like I'll be talking to DH and unconsciously tuned out her whining and the next thing I know she's biting me.
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amother
Orange


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:04 pm
I would try therapy to learn to get less triggered. If you can get a somatic therapist that may be even better.

Btw this doesn't get better on its own. I have kid like this too and now she is 8 and we are still struggling with similar issues.
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AlwaysGrateful




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:37 pm
amother OP wrote:
A follow up question, she usually does start by just tapping or something more acceptable like whining, but I don't always respond right away and that's when she moves to hurting. Responses so far are saying to respond right away when she asks the right way, but do I really have to respond immediately to her every time, because that's very difficult to do on a regular basis. Sometimes I'm just not paying attention, like I'll be talking to DH and unconsciously tuned out her whining and the next thing I know she's biting me.


In that case, I'd definitely try to give her a physical way to get your attention. And at this point, every time she does it, try as hard as possible to reward her with your attention right away, even if it means you can't get through a conversation. In time, you can teach her about waiting...but right now I'd prioritize teaching her to at least ask the right way.
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AlwaysGrateful




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:39 pm
amother Orange wrote:
I would try therapy to learn to get less triggered. If you can get a somatic therapist that may be even better.

Btw this doesn't get better on its own. I have kid like this too and now she is 8 and we are still struggling with similar issues.


Therapy? For reacting when you feel an unexpected pain? Nah, I don't think that's something you can always control. OP, just try your best, it's okay that you're human.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:42 pm
amother Orange wrote:
I would try therapy to learn to get less triggered. If you can get a somatic therapist that may be even better.

Btw this doesn't get better on its own. I have kid like this too and now she is 8 and we are still struggling with similar issues.


Oh no, I thought it's just a toddler stage Crying
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:45 pm
AlwaysGrateful wrote:
In that case, I'd definitely try to give her a physical way to get your attention. And at this point, every time she does it, try as hard as possible to reward her with your attention right away, even if it means you can't get through a conversation. In time, you can teach her about waiting...but right now I'd prioritize teaching her to at least ask the right way.


Okay, thanks for the advice!
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amother
Bone


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:53 pm
amother OP wrote:
Oh no, I thought it's just a toddler stage Crying

It usually is dont freak out many toddlers do this and get past it. Its unusual for an 8 year old(and much more concerning)
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 6:00 pm
amother Bone wrote:
It usually is dont freak out many toddlers do this and get past it. Its unusual for an 8 year old(and much more concerning)


Whew
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amother
Azure


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 6:24 pm
look up negative attention seeking behavior. Normal behavior for sure, but it's good for you to be aware of it and why it happens so you don't reinforce the behavior.
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amother
Orange


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 6:25 pm
amother OP wrote:
Oh no, I thought it's just a toddler stage Crying


My 8 old hits me when she is angry, not when she wants attention .and she is a regular developing child. This dynamic of wanting me and me not being able to connect while still creating a boundary is a dynamic that doesn't disappear. Your toddler wants you but you're not able to let him know you are there for him but he needs to wait. Then he gets angry and then you lose it. It's a cycle.

You wrote "I give her lots of love and attention and then I start to go nuts and need a mental break" that is literally how I feel about my kid. P say she wants attention. It's not about attention. It's about being emotionally regulated and having clear boundaries. She is reacting to you but handling her neediness.
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amother
Amber


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 7:42 pm
amother OP wrote:
How would I know if I'm giving her enough love and attention?

I give her a lot of love and I give her attention until I start to go nuts and need a mental break.

When she doesn't feel the need to demand it, it means her cup is full
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amother
Orange


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 7:46 pm
amother Amber wrote:
When she doesn't feel the need to demand it, it means her cup is full


I strongly disagree. Kids can have an endless wanting for love and attention. And it's this attitude that actually makes it hard for parents to be loving and firm.

I love you. I will be with you soon is what these kids need to hear. They need to see the parent being in charge of the love and attention so that they don't need to be.
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AlwaysGrateful




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 8:14 pm
amother Orange wrote:
I strongly disagree. Kids can have an endless wanting for love and attention. And it's this attitude that actually makes it hard for parents to be loving and firm.

I love you. I will be with you soon is what these kids need to hear. They need to see the parent being in charge of the love and attention so that they don't need to be.


I agree, especially when it comes to a toddler. (Although as I said above, right now I think that the priority needs to be teaching alternative ways to get Mommy's attention, the next goal should be to teach her how to wait for that attention.)

And I do not agree with the poster who said that the child will likely be like that when she's older. All of my kids went through this phase or a similar one (some screeched instead of hitting, some cried or kvetched, and some hit or pinched). None of them were still doing it even a couple of years later.
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