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  #1  
Old 01-23-2019, 08:48 AM
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Default "Normal" Is So Broad, I Sometimes Need A Second Opinion...

On whether a behavior is "normal" or not.

DB is 3 years old (turned 3 in November) is verbal. Is not potty trained.

DCB has had many issues with aggression here before, but it's always been manageable. He IS loving, when he wants to be. Mom calls him her "spicy meatball" because he is, well, that type of kid I'm not judging, goodness knows my own DD has issues. I'm just painting a picture.

Today DCB punched a child, with a closed fist, in the shoulder. DCB took a magna tile from another child, that child said no, and took it back.

This DCB is known for having issues with sharing, grabbing and hitting others with toys. Mom is aware of this.

I've written up an incident report for mom. And since this DCB in question has trouble with the magna tiles and dinos on an almost daily basis, he will not be allowed to use them for the remainder of the week.

But, is punching at this age normal? TBH, I was shocked when it happened! In all of my years doing this I have never, ever, had a child punch another child with a closed fist. Usually what happens with this DCB, is when he does something he shouldn't, I correct him (whether it be separation, redirection, etc) and his crosses his arms huffs, puts his head down and then moves on.

I've written up an incident report for mom. DCB was put in time out (mom uses T.O at home) and is now in his own center, as the rest of the class is not ready to clean up magna tiles and dinos and I don't feel they need to be punished when they are playing wonderfully with the tiles together.

Old wise ones, what to do here?
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:08 AM
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I think you are handling it wonderfully. My bet would be he has been watching fights on TV with Dad, video games, older sibs or he/sib/friend just started taking self-defense of some sort (karate, hapkido, jiujitsu, etc).

3 is the age I started all three of my kids in hapkido. It caused some initial aggression issues (excited about new-found power) until they had some serious consequences for it, too. Losing access to friends and toys for a bit, until you can be safe, is fair, IMHO.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:39 AM
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Not normal!! This kind of stuff goes on because it’s being allowed at home. By 3 he should have received the message that hitting is unacceptable but he hasn’t. Does he hit his parents? The hitters I have are encouraged to be rambunctious and are not supervised at home. The mom uses the same term “spicy” to describe her daughter!

Keep doing what you are doing, not much else you can do! Punishment was the only thing that worked for me and these kids.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:50 AM
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I feel like this is a hard age, but I agree, not normal.

I've been having a difficult time with tantrums and impatience lately with my son who is the same age. But he does not ever hit and understands sharing.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:12 AM
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Psychologists say that hitting is a "normal" behavior up to about age 7. Acceptable? No. Normal? Yes.

3 years is a common age for hitting, IME. It is usually pretty easily dealt with by separating the child from the group and explaining that you won't allow hitting. I would just keep a closer eye on the child for a while to make sure that it doesn't become a habit.

Plenty of unacceptable behaviors are "normal", but that doesn't mean that we should let them happen, but it does mean that there isn't something "wrong" with the child because they hit. Behavior problems/mental illness/etc. present as more of a group of behaviors than just one thing.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:42 PM
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Three is a great age to do some training here. You can make the behavior better at your place if you are firm and consistent.

DS started hitting (me, SAHM, at home) when he was one. I tried to give consequences, but of course not with much success. But he quit for a while. He was a great 2 yo. But when he was three he started again. I was very firm and consistent and he did quit.

The key was to be firm about any aggression. If he even looked like he was thinking about taking a swing, he got to be by himself and calm down.

He was still in his crib and wasn't a climber ( I guess that sounds weird but it worked for us). I gave him soft toys and music and he liked to look out his bedroom window at the cars. I always left him for at least 10 minutes, and I would ask him if he was ready to talk. I always told him I loved him and I wanted us to be nice to each other. It only took about a week of this to pull him out of it, but occasionally he'd try it again but it was quick for him to remember the expectation.

But I was stinking firm about it. No one wants to be a punching bag.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh View Post
Psychologists say that hitting is a "normal" behavior up to about age 7. Acceptable? No. Normal? Yes.

3 years is a common age for hitting, IME. It is usually pretty easily dealt with by separating the child from the group and explaining that you won't allow hitting. I would just keep a closer eye on the child for a while to make sure that it doesn't become a habit.

Plenty of unacceptable behaviors are "normal", but that doesn't mean that we should let them happen, but it does mean that there isn't something "wrong" with the child because they hit. Behavior problems/mental illness/etc. present as more of a group of behaviors than just one thing.
A commonly observed behavior does not make it normal. Normal would be a behavior that all kids go through like dropping food when first learning to eat. No psychologist on earth will convince me that hitting is normal for children. I have only dealt with a handful of hitters in my career and there is always a reason for it. It is learned behavior. The psychologist saying this is normal until age 7 is alarming!!
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Two View Post
Three is a great age to do some training here. You can make the behavior better at your place if you are firm and consistent.

DS started hitting (me, SAHM, at home) when he was one. I tried to give consequences, but of course not with much success. But he quit for a while. He was a great 2 yo. But when he was three he started again. I was very firm and consistent and he did quit.

The key was to be firm about any aggression. If he even looked like he was thinking about taking a swing, he got to be by himself and calm down.

He was still in his crib and wasn't a climber ( I guess that sounds weird but it worked for us). I gave him soft toys and music and he liked to look out his bedroom window at the cars. I always left him for at least 10 minutes, and I would ask him if he was ready to talk. I always told him I loved him and I wanted us to be nice to each other. It only took about a week of this to pull him out of it, but occasionally he'd try it again but it was quick for him to remember the expectation.

But I was stinking firm about it. No one wants to be a punching bag.
Most certainly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat Herder View Post
I think you are handling it wonderfully. My bet would be he has been watching fights on TV with Dad, video games, older sibs or he/sib/friend just started taking self-defense of some sort (karate, hapkido, jiujitsu, etc).

3 is the age I started all three of my kids in hapkido. It caused some initial aggression issues (excited about new-found power) until they had some serious consequences for it, too. Losing access to friends and toys for a bit, until you can be safe, is fair, IMHO.
I do know he does some of this at home. He has an older brother and dad who are into video games. Not sure if it's from TV, video games, or just general exposure, but he does a LOT of "bad guy and gun play." Today while outside he started yelling "I'M THE BAD GUY" and flipped the ride on toys over. Um, no. Not at my house buddy. Saying you're the bad guy and running around is totally fine. But good guy or bad guy, you're not flipping all the ride on toys over.

I do get that hitting can be normal for a 3 year old. I think what shocked me was that it was a closed fist punch. That is what made me stop and think. Usually what I see with my current crew and groups in the past is aggression behavior amp up around a child's second birthday and then closer to their third birthday I see the aggression go away and the verbal sassiness amp up.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
Not normal!! This kind of stuff goes on because it’s being allowed at home. By 3 he should have received the message that hitting is unacceptable but he hasn’t. Does he hit his parents? The hitters I have are encouraged to be rambunctious and are not supervised at home. The mom uses the same term “spicy” to describe her daughter!

Keep doing what you are doing, not much else you can do! Punishment was the only thing that worked for me and these kids.
He has hit mom in my presence before. Mom handled it. He has never hit me.

I laughed so hard when I saw this! "Spicy" must be the new "spirited."
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:51 PM
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My own guy has been making fists to punch since shortly after turning 2 years. Now he is good about not hitting others, except for his grandpa, who encourages it. I've started getting him to hit flat palm hands instead of hitting else where. Now at 3 I tell him pillows, soft toys punching bag or flat hands but ask first. (He still getting the ask part down with his grampa). He will be taking karate in a few years so for him it's good practice. (His uncle owns a dojo so we dont pay for lessons) This dose not get to happen at daycare though.
I've got one dkb who dose hit and is 3.5. Its not hard but he dose it for attention purposes. If it happens with toys I also ban him from them for the day or week. I know at home he is given into a lot or bribed to do what mom wants. (I've seen the behaviour from parents with both him and brother). I'm struggling myself with his behavior so I cant be much help.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby Beluga View Post
He has hit mom in my presence before. Mom handled it. He has never hit me.

I laughed so hard when I saw this! "Spicy" must be the new "spirited."
Possible ADHD? They can have a lot of impulse control issues.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
Possible ADHD? They can have a lot of impulse control issues.
Since he just turned 3, I haven't given this any thought yet. I think he's a bit young still.
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