First I'd like to say welcome to my faithful readers (the two of you?) and especially to all of Shannon's loyal readers over at Rocks in my Dryer from today's backwards edition of Works for me Wednesday who have come to help me with this major parenting dilemma: How do I get Lucas to stop hitting?
First, a little background. He's two. Two and a few weeks to be exact. He is generally a very sweet, kind boy. I know that he doesn't hit to be mean. The hitting generally takes two forms. One, when he gets over-excited and does more of happy/excited arm swinging and then he hits your face/head/arm/body, etc. The second is when he disagrees with what you are saying or doing or trying to get him to do. For example a very serious "NO MAMA" followed by an open-hand hit to my chest or legs.
Here's what we've tried:
1) Reinforcing gentle. He knows what gentle means. I've been trying to teach him that he may only touch people with "gentle". When I say this (even right after a hit) he'll stroke my cheek and repeat "gentle".
2) A stern "no hitting" when he does it. This usually brings him back from his frenzy and then he'll say sorry.
3) Time outs. He is just starting to understand the concept of time-out and so we'll do time-out after he hits.
He always expresses remorse and does seem to understand that he should not hit after the fact. Yet, he still does it again later.
Is this just a stage? Is there some other secret idea out there that I just haven't thought of?
Any and all (helpful!) advice welcome!