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  1. #1
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    Default 3yo hitting, won't apologize

    My 3yo DD has started hitting, kicking, throwing things at people etc. It's a relatively new thing and when she does I will immediately stop whatever interaction we were having, tell her firmly that it's not okay to hurt people and she needs to say sorry and I walk away.

    At this point she starts bawling and will cry for ages and gets even more worked up and angry. She flat out refuses to apologize, it's like pulling teeth. She'll expect us to go back to playing when she feels like it and I'll say no you need to say sorry for hitting me then she'll get angry again and go off crying. When she finally does decide to apologize (like sometimes it can take an hour or more) it's just a quick 'sorry!' And then she expects it to all be fine and dandy.

    What do I do? Today she threw her metal water bottle at me and it hit my ankle, it hurt so much! I did what I said above and she just went of crying and it's been an hour. DH just got home so he's dealing with her because I'm so angry and frustrated.

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    Sounds like you are doing the right thing.
    It's hard, especially as she may not quite grasp the long-term yet (DSS was about 5) and so once she is over it, it is over... and it is, for her.

    But I would do what you are doing- move away, say it's not ok, ask for an apology, and let her rage. I would consider taking away anything she threw though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DT75 View Post
    Sounds like you are doing the right thing.
    It's hard, especially as she may not quite grasp the long-term yet (DSS was about 5) and so once she is over it, it is over... and it is, for her.

    But I would do what you are doing- move away, say it's not ok, ask for an apology, and let her rage. I would consider taking away anything she threw though.
    I agree. DS does this at me and DH. Aims at our head. We say no, sometimes hug him while 'pinning' his arms. Also he gets time out/in and cries and fusses while we sit nearby. He is told to say sorry which he says after calming down (usually).

    Its so hard. Oh, I have taken toys away for repeat behaviour too. The favourite ones.

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    DT75  (08-12-2015)

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll try taking toys off her, hopefully it helps

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    Bleurgh I've been going through this too. It's such a hard time because they understand right and wrong but still have little regulation over their emotions and minimal impulse control.

    Personally I wouldn't wait an hour for an apology. I pick up my son, say to him firmly 'I know you're angry/upset/playing but I won't let you hurt me' and sit in his room with him on my lap and his arms pinned down. 3 minutes at his age.

    Then I tell him he can go and play when he apologises and makes it better. If he refuses, we stay there. That is very rare. After that it's forgotten.

    Now we are at the point where I'll pick him up to remove him and he'll say 'sowy mummy. Sowy.'

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    sounds like you are doing the right thing it just takes a while to getthe message though to them hang in there

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    I'm not a fan of a forced apology, but it's so frustrating/upsetting when they won't apologize!

    In theory, I say "I won't let you...xyz", then walk away if I can. If I need to be in that place I tell DD that I don't want to be around her because she hurt me, and I need her to leave me alone. If she won't, then I put her in her room because it has a gate on it I can lock.
    I never demand an apology, because I think it defeats the purpose. An apology should be a genuine expression of remorse, not just something empty you say out of obligation. Instead, I tell her that I'm upset that she hurt me and doesn't seem sorry, or that I don't want to play with her until she helps me to feel better etc. drawing attention to the consequences of what she did.

    For the most part it works well for us...but I say 'in theory' because I don't always respond so calmly if I'm angry.

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    AdornedWithCats  (09-12-2015),amyd  (11-12-2015),DarcyJ  (12-12-2015),DT75  (12-12-2015),monnie24  (11-12-2015),nh2489  (11-12-2015),Redcorset  (12-12-2015)

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    Maybe instead of forcing an apology out of her ask her to be nice to whoever she hit... Maybe a hug... Maybe sharing a toy etc...

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    amyd  (11-12-2015)

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    Thanks for the new replies. There are some good ideas here. I tried asking her to 'be nice' rather than say sorry today when she got a bit aggressive with me, didn't make much of a difference, she just acts rudely until she decides ok I'm over it and then it's sweet as pie again, then she can't understand why it's not ok with me, does my head in! I'll keep trying though, thanks!

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    when my little ones were a bit aggressive, or cranky, I would not worry about getting an apology, I would just pick them up and put them into the bedroom. saying, ' I think you must be tired because you know that is not acceptable behaviour here." if they come straight back out, then I would ask for an apology, and they can explain why the bad behaviour. usually, if they stayed in the bedroom for a few minutes, I would find them asleep. this worked more often than not. of course if you are not at home, then I would go home asap. marie.


 

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