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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Help! Toddler - hair pulling & hitting

    Really need some guidance on this!

    My 15mo DS is mostly well behaved, but recently started pulling peoples hair and hitting. I want to stop this habit as soon as possible, as my 5yo DD has Aspergers with severe SPD, so even a little hair pulling is agony to her!

    He knows he shouldn't do it. As he's doing it he shouts "Ahk! NO!" (Which is exactly what i say when i try to stop him.)

    My mum suggested doing it to him - so he realises how much it hurts. I remember when my brother was a toddler he used to bite me all the time - until i bit him back and he never did it again.

    BUT, when i was little i used to pull my own hair out. It doesn't hurt me. And i have seen him pulling his own hair too so i guess he's the same. I did pull his hair last time he pulled on my hair and he just laughed at me. I have also seen him hit another little boy and the boy hit him back and DS laughed and hit him again!!

    Really really don't know how to stop him doing this!!!

  2. #2
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    Oh my gosh my DD 15 mo is doing exactly the same thing! She also hits me quite hard, she usually does it when she's getting tired.

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    I think doing it back to him will only confuse him and teach him it's acceptable for people to bite each other and pull their hair!

    When my DS was the same age he went through a biting/pulling hair stage and only ever did it to my 8 year old neice or DH, it was purely an attention/play with me type thing and we just said " we doth bite or we don't pull hair" picked him up and removed him And distracted him, they are too little to really comprehend what they are doing plus they can't verbalise what they want to say - for us it only lasted a few weeks - now at 28 months he is always telling his 16 month old cousin " we don't bite in this house!"

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    Carpe diem 2013  (27-02-2013)

  5. #4
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    I agree with Elijahs Mum that pulling his hair back is only going to confuse him and teach him that's acceptable behaviour.

    My DS went through a hair pulling stage around 18 months - he would do it to little girls that had their hair out, but mostly to me when he was frustrated. Basically I did the same as Elijahs Mum, I firmly told him 'No, we don't pull hair, it hurts' and removed him from the situation. He would almost always laugh at me and think it was a big joke, but the more of a big deal I made about it (I got quite angry a few times he did it to me and I was at the end of my rope), the funnier he though it was, so I tried not to make a big deal. I also tried to pre-empt it and prevent it - as often when he's meet little girl he'd start patting her hair, which would then turn into a tug. So I let him 'pat' gently and praised that, then would say 'ok DS, you've said hello' and remove his hand and distract him before he could go in for the pull. He grew out of it after a few months.

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    Ok sorry, i've re-read my op and realise i've left out some vital info -

    This hitting & hair-pulling habit has gone on for nearly 6 months now. My initial reaction was exactly as suggested by elijasmum & decemberbubba : i grab his hand firmly, say "Ahk! NO!" and remove him from the situation.

    My frustration is that this approach is NOT working! If anything, it has only gotten worse! So it is only very recently that i tested his response to the same treatment - and discovered that he infact finds it funny, not painful. I myself, do not have the standard response to pain stimuli - i've had teeth pulled out without anasthetic and was in fits of laughter over it! So therefore, telling him "No, it hurts" is something he may never fully understand. Mum said i never hit or hurt other people, only myself. So i am at a loss as to how i should convince him to stop doing this.

    (lol)

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    Is there something that triggers the behaviour op. Does he do it when he's tired/ frustrated/ excited? Maybe if you can work out what the trigger is you can try to pre-empt the behaviour and avoid it where possible (obviously not going to happen all the time, but may reduce the incidences). I felt like I was getting nowhere with DS, and he definately got worse with me before he got better (a few times he had me in tears from ripping hair out and he thought it was hilarious). At that age I really don't think there is much more you can do than remove and distract, I think it's a stage most toddlers go through and it should pass. I know DS did it for a reaction too sometimes, so I had to really work hard at keeping my cool with him.
    Last edited by decemberbubba; 27-02-2013 at 18:05.

  8. #7
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    sounds like a tough situation, I really have no idea if he likes pain, how about try a reward scheme instead?

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    steel magnolia  (01-03-2013)

  10. #8
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    Hmm, reward scheme is worth a try

  11. #9
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    Just thought i'd give an update. The reward scheme seems to be working - the hair pulling has almost stopped and the hitting is much less frequent.
    Thanx

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    Chillies  (13-03-2013)


 

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