Thursday, July 21, 2011

When Toddlers Attack

Ok, so I am not new to this whole "Mom" thing. We have 4 children aged 1, 6, 8 and 9 so this isn't our first rodeo here.  I have been a Mom for almost a decade and I have seen pretty much everything there is to see so far when it comes to babies, toddlers and young children. I consider myself an experienced Mom and younger Moms often come to me for advice which makes me feel really good.

Having said  that, all of my kids were different when they were toddlers. My first child, Andrew, was the sweetest little thing you would ever meet. He played quietly and was very loving.  When his sister came along when he was just 13 months old, they were the best of friends. He was never jealous of her and adjusted to her very well.  They grew up together being very close in age and we never had any trouble with either of them. When Josh came along 2 years after Emma, I knew as soon as he got mobile that he was going to be a wild thing but even so, other than being a little monkey and climbing everything in sight, Emma and Drew adjusted well to him and they were all the best of pals.

5 years later, our little Aiden was born. I knew from the beginning he was going to be a challenge. He was extremely colic and I spent night after night doing everything I could to get him to stop crying so we could get some sleep. As he got older and grew out of the colic stuff, he became mobile and that is when the real challenges began. He is now 17 months old and to say he is a wild child would be an understatement. He gets into anything and everything. He climbs places that a 17 month old just shouldn't be able to climb. When we are out and about, I use a harness styled child "leash" so that I can keep him near me. He is the fastest runner I have ever seen and can slip out of any grasp so I find this to be the best alternative because he hates to be contstrained in a stroller.

Even with all of that, he is the best thing that could have ever happened to us. He has the best, most outgoing personality. He constantly makes us laugh. When he hears music he will drop everything he is doing and bust out in a dance.  He makes the funniest facial expressions and he loves to give hugs and kisses. He just started this thing where he wraps his arms as tight as he can around our necks and gives us the biggest hugs. His laugh is contagious and it doesn't matter how many times I have heard it, every time he laughs we all laugh too. 

So what's the problem you ask?! 

He has just started hitting, pulling hair, pinching, biting, etc. and we have no clue what to do about it. None of our kids ever exhibited these behaviors and despite everything we have tried, nothing has worked.  And oddly enough, there is no pattern to these behaviors. He doesn't do it when he's mad. Or frustrated. Or upset. Or tired. And he doesn't do it to be malicious or mean. He dies laughing every time he smacks someone. I personally think he just likes the sound it makes when he does it. We were at a baseball practice this week and he was sitting on a blanket and a friend of ours sat her 10 month old baby girl down beside him. Before I even had time to react, he had reached out and slapped her right across the face. And I was MORTIFIED!  It is one thing when he does it to one of US but this is the 2nd time now that he has hurt someone else outside of our family. Last week at a baseball tournament one of the players little brothers was playing with him and Aiden grabbed his finger and bit him!

I am at a loss. I have no clue what to do anymore. We have tried scolding him and doing what all of the parenting books and websites tell us to do. We tried telling him NO and tried showing him that it hurts. But all has been in vain. He thinks it is the funniest thing in the world when we raise our voices at him and it makes him do things even MORE! 

How about you?! Have any of you ever faced this challenge and what did you do to fix it? I am back on the job market and considering going back to work and I cannot even fathom having to take him to a sitter where there will be other kids!!!  I need help and I need it fast!

1 comment:

  1. I'm in a similar boat. My 9 month old bites when nursing and when frustrated. I look like I'm being beaten. The lactation consultant at our local breastfeeding center actually suggested I slap her. There is no way. The doctor said to put her down and don't give her attention for it. Nothing seems to be working. I asked my mom about your situation and she said let his siblings handle it. She had 6 of us and only 2 were not biters and hitters. A friend suggested to me the Karen Katz books, especially "No Biting". We started reading it to Courtney a few days ago. She now touches her teeth and shakes her head "no". And no bites in 2 days. It can't be that easy, can it? Sorry I'm not more help.


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