Little man bites,hits, scratches himself out of anger. Please Help!

by Christina
(Canada)

I'm a 21 year old mother of a beautiful little boy, Isaiah. When my son was newborn all nurses said "he's got such a soothing,peaceful cry.".. he was an amazing baby and is still amazing.


However, around 20 months of age, he began to hit. He's now almost 2 yrs and 4 months old.. Im currently living with my mother who babysits at home. We do it together & in our home we have 4 children to watch each. My son has a real REAL bad temper. When Isaiah gets upset because I say "you can not have pop, it's not good for you" or when i tell him "the toy is at the store, we can't buy it right now." He begins with pinching and scratching his own face. He screams and will throw books, or anything off of the nearest table.He will come up to you and hit you, will kick.

He's recently picked up "You Stupid" and "shut up.".. I notice that even in children's movies you will hear those "shut up" words & notice your child repeating right after, if not than later on.

I'm stressed out.. When I put him on time out, he scratches himself. Did i mention now when he's upset he licks things while biting? If on time out and upset or frustrated he will bite and lick the couch.

It's disturbing but I feel that as his mother, I should find ways to help him so that down the road as he approaches kindergarten, he is well behaved well mannered.

If anybody could share some advice or views, please do. It's greatly needed. Thanks so much

Christina.

Dr Maud Answers
It sounds very frustrating for you, but this is fairly normal behavior at this age although every child has their own way of trying to exert their independence.

Firstly, it is absolutely essential that everyone in the house is consistent. As much as possible, try and ignore behavior you don't want - like kicking, screaming etc, and reward behavior you do want - with lots of "good boy for ...." or "good listening".

There are tips on the Biting and Hitting page that specifically address what you can do with this more aggressive behavior.

I would also suggest that you ask your doctor to check Isaiah's iron levels (and lead levels if you live in an old house) - as low iron levels (and high lead levels) can lead to a condition called pica where children lick and eat unusual objects.

If you prefer to listen than read information, then you can hear about great ways to change your child's behavior and avoid the terrible two's with an audio course called "Talking to Toddlers" - I have found that this offers some really useful information for parents of toddlers.
The great thing about "Talking to Toddlers" is that it not only gives strategies for dealing with a willful two year old, but it gives strategies for communicating more effectively with all ages. To find out more, Click Here!


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