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Old 12-13-2013, 09:24 PM
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cheerfuldom cheerfuldom is offline
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It is normal, although unacceptable behavior. Like the PP said, sometimes kids act out due to illness or big changes in life (transitioning to a big kid bed or something like that) or jealousy if you have added new, especially younger kids.

Keep your reprimands short and immediate to the action. You also dont have to wait till something happens. Like another poster said, keep her close so you can keep an eye on her and step in right before or as things happen. Get to know her triggers and use preventative measures. If the fights include certain toys, certain time of the day, certain other kids, you can be aware of that and plan accordingly.

I personally am not at all opposed to using a firm No! with an 18 month old as well as directing them to some other activity. That doesnt mean entertaining them all day to keep them from hitting. It means saying "No hitting! We use safe hands" and then steer her towards an activity "go play blocks" and then walk away. No extra attention for bad behavior. Of course check on the victim as well! When you have calm and quiet moments, role play with safe and gentle hands. Practicing gently playing with a baby doll or stuffed animal is a great idea. Letting her stroke your check so she can begin to understand what gentle means. I personally use the phrase "safe hands" because that is what they use in my daughters special needs preschool and it relates to all behavior with the hands, not just hitting versus gentle touch. We use safe hands if my kids are touching things they shouldnt and that sort of thing.

I will say that I do not use timeouts and do not separate from the group unless I am not presently capable to supervise. Such as if I have to prepare lunch and you cannot trust her to play minimally supervised, I would put her at the table with an activity and use that as a preventative measure versus a punishment.

If you separate, do not use their sleeping space as punishment! great way to start up major sleep regression and crying.
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