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Serapa
Serapa asks:
Q:

How do I get my 3 year old son to stop hurting me and his sister?

I have a spirited boy.  He's turning 4 in 3 months.  He's a wonderful child...a great sense of humor...laughs all the time...and he's so sweet when he's in a good mood.  

My son was a really difficult 2 year old - he used to constantly hurt other children and cause serious injuries.  I learned to focus on his good behaviour and give him lots of praise. He's doing so much better now and the daycare and Junior Kindergarten tell me he is a sweet well behaved boy!!!

He no longer bites, but he still has major emotional meltdowns with me, pulls his sister's hair, pinches and hits (when he's tired).  My son was born with a very aggressive and sensitive temperament.  He is really challenging.  I cannot get him to stay in a time out.  I just can't.  I've tried every method.  I end up putting him in his room and hold the door shut while he screams and throws things around for 15 minutes.  When he is calm, I go in and make him help me clean up.  We talk about what he did and about other ways of getting his "angries out".

In the morning he often kicks me when I am changing his clothes. He kicks me so hard, it hurts and I give him a smack on the bum after telling him 2 or 3 times to stop kicking me.  It's not a hard smack, but it is firm and it gets his attention and he will usually stop and it's not every morning. I wake him up slowly with music and hug him for 10 minutes before getting him ready. I'm in a hurry to get him to school and get myself to work.  

What can I do?
In Topics: My child's growth and development
> 60 days ago

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Expert

LouiseSattler
Feb 11, 2014
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

I believe these websites may be helpful for you and give you positive behavioral strategies:

http://www.Kidlutions.com
http://www.proactiveparenting.net
http://www.BrainInsights.com
http://www.MicheleBorba.com
http://TheFamilyCoach.com
http://www.ListentoMePlease.com

Good luck!

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Additional Answers (2)

infomotive
infomotive writes:
Keep up the good work and be consistent. He will grow out of those behaviors in time. My son did. What worked for me was being aware of the eating and sleeping schedule and keeping him on it. Lots of time at the swimming pool was helpful. He needed exercise and space to play. Being in a confined space was disastrous. Your little boy might benefit from Montessori classes and from showing him ways he can be more independent. If he can pick and change his own clothes he will be empowered and not frustrated. Try by putting his clothes where he can reach them and choose them easily. Only a few items of clothing will also make that easier. If he has things at his level that he can concentrate on, he will enjoy doing them. It is hard to be the youngest when everyone else is bigger than you. Montessori is wonderful because it gives each child, even the smallest child, meaningful work they can engage in. They feel much happier because they are empowered.
> 60 days ago

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TeacherandParent
TeacherandP... writes:
He doesn't have meltdowns at school but has them at home? Over what?

I would not allow him to kick you. Why does he do that? Because he wants to keep the same clothes on?
Telling him to stop kicking you is one thing - do you tell him why he shouldn't kick? " It hurts and what's wrong, tommy? Why are you kicking?"

If he can't tell you why, tell him that kicking will not accomplish anything. I'd consider getting some help from a family counselor.
> 60 days ago

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