Parenting

Have Parenting Questions? Ask a Parenting Counselor for Answers

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Parenting
This answer was rated:

My son is 24 months old. Hes been attending the same daycare

My son is 24 months...
My son is 24 months old. He's been attending the same daycare since he was an infant, and periodically they've had problems with him hitting other kids. He was agressive three weeks ago, and then last week things were better. However, this week he's been even more aggressive. He's now hitting and kicking, and he's started spitting. His daycare teacher told me that they correct it each time, but his behavior is actually getting worse rather than better. He knows that it's wrong to hit. Yesterday, he walked up to another little boy and hit him. The boy turned around and hit him back. My son looked at this little boy and said 'no hitting'. So he clearly understood that hitting wasn't allowed. He just didn't think that the rule applied to him.

They told me that when it occurs, they usually give him to their time out area to take a break. But he immediately gets up and walks around. They said that he thinks its a game. Yesterday they got to the point where they took him to the director's office for a while.

We don't have a problem with hitting or kicking or spitting at home, although he occasionally wrestles with my husband. But we also don't have other children around. When he does have a tantrum, we walk away rather than give him attention. We tell him 'no' a lot, but we don't give time outs because we know he'll just get up and walk away.

My instinct is that he's figured out that if he hits he'll get attention from the teachers. Yet I know that they can't ignore it when it happens.

Any ideas how we can work with them to resolve the problem?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Parenting Question
Answered in 5 hours by:
5/22/2013
Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 278
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor
Verified

Heidi LPC : Hi there! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a licensed psychotherapist, former teacher and Child Development Center director, and I hope I can offer you some assistance with your question today!
Heidi LPC : This is a common problem; in the old days, the 2's stage was called the "terrible 2's" primarily due to the types of behavior you are describing! Of course, now we call them the "terrific 2's", as we understand that this is a period of incredible teaching and learning opportunity!
Heidi LPC : Two's are still trying to learn to communicate. When children display challenging behavior, it is for 1 of 2 reasons: to GAIN something, or to AVOID something. We must be detectives, and figure out their purpose, and then teach them more appropriate and safe ways to express themselves.
Heidi LPC : Teaching language skills, and helping them to learn feelings, feeling words, and proper actions for when they are frustrated is an on-going task at this age. Teachable moments are many!
Heidi LPC : Here is a link to one article that may help shed some light on it: http://www.ucg.org/marriage-and-family/parenting-terrible-twos-or-terrific-twos/
Customer: We've been working with him to teach him how to express his feelings, and he's become fairly proficient at telling us 'no thank you'.
Heidi LPC : Great!
Heidi LPC : This is a book that I recommend to any family looking for parenting advice through the stages: http://www.amazon.com/The-Power-Positive-Parenting-Wonderful/dp/1567131751
Customer: At his daycare, he seems to be hitting and kicking even when he's not frustrated. He'll just walk across the room and hit someone. Yesterday, the little boy that my son hit turned around and hit him back. My son looked at him and said "no hitting." So he understands that the behavior is wrong, to the point that he corrected another child. But when his teachers sit him down somewhere for a time out, he immediately stands up and tries to run away. They say he's laughing and thinks it's a game. They say he doesn't look angry when he hits. I'm actually beginning to think that he's just figured out that this is a way to get attention and play chase with others.
Heidi LPC : I think you may be correct there. His teachers need to understand that re-direction rather than punishment is the proper approach with toddlers.
Heidi LPC : Here is another list of specific instructions to re-direct hitting behaviors. You might want to ask his teachers if they have read anything like it before:
Heidi LPC : 1.Take the child by the hand and say, "It is not okay to hit people. I'm sorry you are feeling hurt and upset. You can talk about it or you can hit this pillow, but people aren't for hitting."2.Help the child deal with the anger. 3.Ask, "Would it help you to go to your time-out spot now?" Time out is not helpful unless the child has helped create a positive time out spot in advance. Also, time out is not helpful if the child does not see the benefit and chooses it. If you "make" your child go to time out, your child is likely to see it as punishment and may rebel.4.After the child has calmed down, ask what and how questions. "What is upsetting you? How are you feeling?" See if you can get to the bottom of what is really bothering your child and then help the child discover what other things he or she could do besides hitting to deal with the problem. (Children under four years of age do not understand abstract reasoning. This is one reason why lectures are not effective at this age. There are other reasons why lectures are ineffective at any age.)5.With children under four, try giving them a hug before removing them from the situation. This models a loving method while showing them that hitting is not okay. Hugging does not reinforce the misbehavior. 6.Even though toddlers don't fully comprehend language, you can still use words (while removing them) such as, "Hitting hurts people. Let's find something else you can enjoy doing."7.When babies hit you, put them down and leave the room immediately for a minute or two without saying a word. At this age, they will understand actions better than words.8.When your preschooler hits you, decide what you will do instead of trying to control your child. Let her know that every time she hits you, you will leave the room until she is ready to treat you respectfully. After you have told her this once, follow through without any words. Leave immediately.9.Later you might tell your child, "That really hurts" or "That hurts my feelings. When you are ready, an apology would help me feel better." Do not demand or force an apology. The main purpose of this suggestion is to give a model of sharing what you feel and asking for what you would like. People don't always give us what we would like, but we show respect for ourselves by sharing our feelings and wishes in non-demanding ways.
Heidi LPC : Sadly, many programs haven't yet established positive discipline programs, and are still learning how to handle behavior issues. I say speak with the director and find out if he/she can bring in some training topics regarding positive discipline to assist the staff, as well.
Heidi LPC : What we give attention to is inevitably what we see more of with kids; your intuition is on target there.
Customer: I'll share this with them. They've obviously dealt with this before, but he seems to have them a bit stumped. They did mention that they believe that is very bright and on track developmentally. They also said that part of the problem is that they need more challenging activities in the classroom (they had a turnover issue with lead teachers that put them off track a bit). Realistically, I know that my husband and I need to do a better job of not ignoring behaviors at home that hurt others or can hurt himself. In the meantime, I'm also going to ask them what he's doing prior to hitting other kids-- is he sitting by himself bored? Or is he frustrated with something?
Heidi LPC : Absolutely. And kids love power. When they can get a rise out of someone, they feel powerful. So mention this as well, and that any irregular behaviors must be managed quickly, but without fanfare so that they aren't positively reinforced.
Heidi LPC : He is probably just liking the feeling of feeling that he can cause a big stir, but he is way too young to be purposely manipulating people. He is still learning cause & effect.
Customer: O.K... Thanks for your help. Enjoy your holiday weekend!
Customer: I'm headed into a meeting, but I appreciate your feedback. Great job!
Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 278
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor
Verified
Heidi LPC and 87 other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Heidi LPC Your Own Question
Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 278
278 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor

Heidi LPC is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around.

EstherWoodstock, NY

Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know.

RobinElkton, Maryland

He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here.

DianeDallas, TX

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Cher

Cher

Teacher

93 satisfied customers

Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2

Jennifer

Jennifer

School Psychologist

77 satisfied customers

Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.

professional_Alison

professional_Alison

Child Care

77 satisfied customers

Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare

Dr. L

Dr. L

Psychologist

40 satisfied customers

Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist

Dr. Shirley Schaye

Dr. Shirley Schaye

Doctor

38 satisfied customers

PhD-Psych; Certif. Psychoanalyst NPAP& NYFS; Memb.APsaA;IPA; Pub.Author; Teach/Supervise Therapy

Eveningstargazer

Eveningstargazer

Family Counselor

31 satisfied customers

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)

Alicia_MSW

Alicia_MSW

Family Counselor

21 satisfied customers

Licensed social worker and psychotherapist

< Previous | Next >

Related Parenting Questions
My husband and I have been looking for a home for 7 years
My husband and I have been looking for a home for 7 years and due to several of my restrictions and safety concerns have not been able to find one until now. My 8 year old daughter is on board and wou… read more
Jennifer
Jennifer
School Psychologist
Master's Degree
77 satisfied customers
I am very concerned about my 11 year old daughter. She has
Dear Sir/Madam, I am very concerned about my 11 year old daughter. She has been away from me for about 2 years, and finally now I am seeing her every weekend. She has always been a girl who loved pink… read more
Jennifer
Jennifer
School Psychologist
Master's Degree
77 satisfied customers
I am currently married with 2 children: a 5 year old girl
I am currently married with 2 children: a 5 year old girl who will be 6 y/o on March, 2018 and my son who will be 3 years old this month (nov, 2017).Their personalities are very different and I'm very… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
166 satisfied customers
What is my best defense against a group of people that are
what is my best defense against a group of people that are contributing to the delinquency of a minor?… read more
Jennifer
Jennifer
School Psychologist
Master's Degree
77 satisfied customers
My 2 yrs old just started climbing out her bed 3 nights ago.
Hi, My 2 yrs old just started climbing out her bed 3 nights ago. We switched her bed to toddler bed last night with side railing but then she refused to sleep in it. We had to put back her crib side b… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
166 satisfied customers
My 8 years old daughters complains about everyrhing.
My 8 years old daughters complains about everyrhing. Sometimes when she tells me that she is feeling sick I don´t believe her because I don´t think it´s true. Latetly she has complain about pain in he… read more
Jennifer
Jennifer
School Psychologist
Master's Degree
77 satisfied customers
How can a 23 year old female work through / get over built
How can a 23 year old female work through / get over built up anger / resentment / feelings of loss over having grown up in a divorced home with need for both parents, not just one? This high-function… read more
Dr.G.
Dr.G.
Counseling Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
446 satisfied customers
My daughter is 14 years old, my husband and I are very
My daughter is 14 years old, my husband and I are very protective, she feels we do not trust her, which is not the case, but we just don't trust the boys out there. We live in a good neighborhood, whi… read more
Dr.G.
Dr.G.
Counseling Psychologist
Doctoral Degree
446 satisfied customers
I'm having problems w my 19yo stepson, he doesnt respect me.
I'm having problems w my 19yo stepson, he doesnt respect me. He's been living wiih us frm the age of 8yo. anything I say bothers him he is lazy, doesnt do anything in the hse just free loader, no coll… read more
Marie
Marie
506 satisfied customers
I am driving myself bonkers! My daughter 15 1/2 only child.
Hi ! I am driving myself bonkers! My daughter 15 1/2 only child. I am so terrified when shes not with me or in her room safe and sound! When she leaves for school, i pray for her safe trip, good day, … read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
I am having major problems with my 15 year old daughter. how
Hi, I am having major problems with my 15 year old daughter. how do you help. … read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
166 satisfied customers
My daughter is 5 years old and doesn't finish her school
My daughter is 5 years old and doesn't finish her school work from talking so much. She is spoiled, and doesn't listen to anybody anymore. How do we get her to listen to authority without spanking her… read more
Jennifer
Jennifer
School Psychologist
Master's Degree
77 satisfied customers
My 9 year old son has these episodes where he crys loudly
My 9 year old son has these episodes where he crys loudly over small things like taking a shower. He's great at school and in sports but just has a bad attitude at home when he's asked to do something… read more
CounselorJules
CounselorJules
Licensed Professional Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
54 satisfied customers
What should i do with an incorrigible teen? He dislikes mom,
what should i do with an incorrigible teen? He dislikes mom, won't go along with the rules, keeps running away using interesting methods of escape, wants his own job and apartment, thinks he's grown u… read more
Jennifer
Jennifer
School Psychologist
Master's Degree
77 satisfied customers
This is a hard topic to discuss and I feel like a broken
Second opinion] This is a hard topic to discuss and I feel like a broken record asking this and that about what to do about my and our kids situation.To summarize, my spouse and I had an argument whil… read more
CounselorJules
CounselorJules
Licensed Professional Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
54 satisfied customers
My seven-year-old son has dyslexia and he is in second
My seven-year-old son has dyslexia and he is in second grade. He is reading but he reads slow. We are seeing great progress. He also has a tutor helping him that specializes in this disorder.With this… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
166 satisfied customers
This is a hard topic to discuss and I feel like a broken
This is a hard topic to discuss and I feel like a broken record asking this and that about what to do about my and our kids' situation.To summarize, my spouse and I had an argument while drinking, and… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
166 satisfied customers
We have a boy who is turning 3 and he refuses to use the
Hello. We have a boy who is turning 3 and he refuses to use the potty to poop. He has no problem making pee. He is a very bright and self confident kid, who loves chocolate, and not even the big choco… read more
Dr SS
Dr SS
Doctoral Degree
12,327 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x