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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>2.5yo hitting
gracepatiencelove 06:27 PM 01-08-2014
I have a 2.5 yo for 6-9 hours a day, three days a week. The first two weeks he was here he was the sweetest little angel. Now (since last week) he has been screaming in my face ("NO!" "Stop it!") and hitting me (or, if I am not close enough, hitting whatever else - but not other children at all, ever, even when they are close ).

The first day I redirected. I told him gentle hands. I showed him how to be gentle. I ignored the yelling and answered his even-toned requests/statements. No change. The second day, I decided it wasn't just a bad day and I immediately started putting him in time out. This kid has since been in time out like 4-6x a day. It's driving me BONKERS because I have to be right there to tell him no he can't get up, he's in time out, no he can't sneak toys out from under his shirt he is in time out.

I think a LOT of it is stemming from suddenly he wouldn't nap here (coinciding with outbursts). I JUST finally said enough is enough and let him scream for 20 minutes and then he slept for 2.5 hours.

So, here are my questions.

1.) How can I get him to stop hitting me?
2.) How can I get him to stop screaming in my face if I don't let him do something like throw toys? (The screaming is inevitably followed by him smacking me.)
3.) Is it appropriate to say, "okay, you need a break!" and put him in a high chair with crayons/paper or playdoh? Or is that too much like rewarding his behavior?
4.) Is it wrong to let 2 yos cry it out? I mean, clearly, he was exhausted. But I felt SO BAD, but it wasn't even real crying - the second I opened the door to check on him, he would stop. So at what age do you just let them cry it out? And for how long? And how do you tell the parents without sounding like a heartless person?
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Msdunny 07:40 PM 01-08-2014
At 2.5, he definitely shouldn't be screaming in your face and hitting you. He would become my constant companion for a day or two. I had a dcb the same age who came back after an absence and was hitting the other kids. I brought him in the kitchen with me with only a box of blocks, and made him stay by my side for the next couple of hours. He eventually went back with the others, but any hitting and he was back by my side. I haven't had trouble with that since, and it only took one day of 'tomato staking'.

I would also make sure the parents know that this behavior isn't going to be acceptable. Hopefully, they will help out on their end.

I am not a person who can stand for being hit - screaming is one thing, though I don't like it, but I can't stand hitting.

Edited to add: as for the crying at naptime, it sounds more like manipulation that true crying it out. I think you are fine to leave him in bed to cry until he is quiet.
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Tags:cry it out, hitting, screaming, smacking, throwing, toddler, two year old
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