Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guest Post: Follow Up on What to Do When Your Child Hits

Hello again readers! It’s Jay again, and I’m here to do a follow up to my original post found here, What Should You Do When Your Child Hits.

Like a good dad, I exchanged my child Monday morning with her mother and warned her that Madi was hitting. I don’t think her mother believed me because when I got Madi back Thursday night her mother explained, rather surprised and incredulously, that Madi had hit her. I remember thinking, “Duh! Didn’t I warn you about this already?”, but instead offered a polite, “I know. You’re right. We need to nip this in the bud.”

We used a three pronged approach that I would like to convey the best way I know, through notable moments of World War II. And let’s face it. Raising kids sometimes is a battle. (links go to Wikipedia if anyone is interested).

First Prong – Molotov Ribbentrop Pact - I won’t hit her, she won’t hit me.
I’m a patient parent, but like everyone I have my limits. When limits were reached I would usually a spank instead of opting for a time out. So, I stopped spanking completely for a few weeks. I enforced time out over spanking.

Second Prong – The Battle of Midway – Strike first, and do it decisively.
Someone advised stopping the hit before it lands. I thought, how could I see a hit coming? Turns out you can. Picking her up when she’s angry or when I’m close by I was more aware if she was cranky/angry so I readied myself to get hit. Like the good little slugger she is, Madi has a little wind-up. It’s very easy to spot. So, the couple times it happened I grabbed her hand before she hit and “No Madi, we don’t hit daddy.” I’d then place her in timeout, safely out of reach.

Third Prong – VJ Day – If you can’t beat them, surrender.
I realized my daughter is under 2 and there are issues with communication. One of the many unfortunate things about two homes is I’m sometimes perplexed by her growing vocabulary. She will tell me a word she knows, but I don’t have a clue what it is. So, I took to having more patience and understanding. I tell her, “I don’t know honey. I’m sorry. Can you point?” and Madi has responded by pointing.

Does Madi still hit? Mostly no; she’s my sweet angel again. I’m pretty lucky. Whether it was phase or the effectiveness of prongs, her tempers are much milder. And oh my goodness has her vocabulary doubled since my last post. I think being able for her to vocalize her feelings helped a lot. She’s been doing so well with a lot of things that I took her to see the movie Brave this past weekend. But that’s a post for another day…

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