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santana494
santana494 , Parent asks:
Q:

Help!  My 18 month old's behavior is terrible.  I had to quit my job because my babysitter quit!  

hi my name is santana
i have 2 baby boys i posted a disscussion about my oldest and not speaking but now i got another problem.
my youngest micheal is 18 months and very violent to everyone but more to his brother. hes always got a very dirty look on his face and is always hitting someone or something. other then my oldest son getting the most of it so does the dog.
i have talked to my doctor about it and he says that it will pass.
hes also screaming all the time if hes not hitting someone and because of what hes doing im a little worried about putting him in to daycare or preschool so i had to quit my job because the babysitter left due to what he was always doing
help please
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

|

Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Sep 11, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

Santana,

 It would be difficult to know the origin of his behavior since he is pre-verbal and cannot tell us what he is angry about.
The primary concern would be to provide appropriate ways for him to work out his anger/aggression, and to reduce and hopefully stop his inapropriate aggressive behavior. It would require developing a behavioral plan for him such as time out for hitting anyone or any pet. Just enough for him to recognize hitting is not okay and to help him change directions. The rule of thumb is a minute for every year of age. Equally important would be to reframe his aggressive behavior toward appropriate activities...wrestling with Dad, kicking a ball in the yard or at the park, etc.
Also, make sure that you take the time to spend quality time playing with him, praising him, giving hugs, etc. and see if that reduces any of the negative behavior.  Kids will sometime engage in negative behaviors in order to get their parent's attention.  If you spend more time attending to him when he is behaving appropriately rather than when he is misbehaving, you might see some change in his behavior as a result.  
If these parenting strategies do not have much impact after being consistent with them for two to three weeks it might be good to call 211/United Way in your area and ask for referrals for therapists who work with birth to age five children.
Best wishes,
GW
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (1)

Boys Town National Hotline
Hello Santanna,

This type of behavior is common among children at this age.  Here are several things to consider doing that will help to decrese this misbehavior over time.  

Teach your 18 month old child to "play nicely" or "get along with others" through modeling.  When you spend time with your child, this provides valuable teachable moments.  While you are playing with your child, purposefully say the behaviors  you want to see him do  and praise him for doing them.  For example, "Yeah!  Good job petting the dog.  Mommy is so proud of you!"  This will help you teach him that petting the dog is the correct behavior and increase the chances of this behavior occurring again.  While you pet the dog together, he sees you doing the appropriate behavior and will model your actions.  

You can do this same teaching for playing nicely  with others (e.g, his older brother).  It will be helpful to teach both of your childrn skills like this so they can then model for each other and you can praise both of them for playing nicely together.  

Remember, this takes time.  The inappropriate behavior (hitting) will go away if you teach an appropriate behavior  (petting, keeping hands to self) instead.  Stay consistent with your expectations and watch your own behaviors when you're angry because someone else is watching you.  

We encourage you to hang in there.  Parenting can be challenging at times but it is also rewarding.  Try to focus on the positive aspects of parenting.  This will help reduce your own stress level during those difficult times.  

Tim
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
> 60 days ago

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