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I am at a loss as to why my daughter Jess is hitting me and hitting herself in the face! At first she started hitting herself, and I took that as a sign as being tired, but now she has started hitting me. I think she does it whenever she can't get her way like when I take something away from her that she can't play with (which is my fault anyway) or she is frustrated because I won't let her outside on the balcony becuase it is raining - but sometimes it is jut out of the blue when I think she should be generally happy (fed, clean nappy, watching Wiggles etc).

She is our first child (ie. has every toy imaginable), and I am a stay at home Mum so she has all of my attention. We are very sociable with our friends who have children (aged 2 - 6) but they don't act that way, so I can't see where she has picked this bad habit up.

I try to remain calm and say to her "don't hit Mummy (or yourself) OUCH it hurts, its not very nice, so please don't do it" to which she just looks at me with mean eyes and hits me again. I have tried just putting her on the floor when it happens and walking away (so she can't see how upset I am) and I have (which I am very ashamed about) a couple of times (lightly) smacked her on the hand and said to her in a loud voice "DON'T HIT MUMMY" and looked at her in a very stern way to which she pulls down the bottom lip and starts crying which makes me feel very guilty because I know she is only a baby and doesn't understand and what I have just done is only contradicting what I am trying to teach her - don't hit!!!

I know she is too young for time out/naughty corner - but what do I do to let her know that what she is doing is unacceptable. I am afraid that when we go to play group she is going to hit some other child - and I won't know how to handle the situation.

I feel bad, because this is not the way I have raised Jess and don't know why she is acting this way. Sometimes I think she doesn't like me. When she is in a bad mood, she snatches things out of my hands and when I am playing with her or reading to her, she acts as though she is saying "go away, these are my toys / this is my book and I can read it myself!

Her father has a bit of a temper (but he is not violent or abusive), and to date she has never seen his bad side (fingers crossed). Do you think it is hereditary ??? and can she display this trait so early?? If so, what can I do to change this bad habit??

I have tried to read everything about temper tantrums, dicipline etc therefore have really bit my toungue, counted to 10 and responded calmly to her but she is continually doing it on average every day and I really need your advice to make a positive change.

Thanks very much
Mum to Jess 12mnths


DD use to laugh in my face when I first started the firm 'NO'. She too use to slap both sides of my face, more so when excited. She use to bite me when cranky - grrrrr. I ended up going with what DD's kindy use, which is no attention. If DD does some-thing 'naughty' then I say 'NO' and put her down instantly - then walk away. I adopted the Super Nanny timing in that I will leave her for 1 minute (a minute for each age). She hates that and does have a cry so after a minute, I pick her up and we have a chat about what happened. I pretend she understands and assume she says sorry - lol. I was lucky in that this method was very effective. DD doesn't bite any-more and tends to respond to my 'NO' now (instead of laughing).

I'm finding now that DD will test the boundaries for tantrums on occasion. I notice its when she wants some-thing that she can't have, for example, the TV remote. She is well aware what is out of bounds, but being a typical chick - likes to ignour the rules - lol. I like your biting the tongue and counting to 10 idea. Some-times its hard not to let it get to you as they usually pick the most inopportune moments to chuck a hissy - lol.

Great thread, really keen to hear of others methods as think I might be trying a few things as DD approaches the terrible 2's.

Best of luck !

DD is 3yr 8 months - DS is 6 months

Hi! Nikky,

My daughter has decided to start a similar routine except she tries to do it to myself or my husband via an open hand slap to our hands. I find that she only seems to do this when we have spent a full day at home and she is tired or under stimulated. I find that she is very full on if we don't leave the house - and I sense that this is a sense of frustration - as she loves to be outdoors! However we have recently moved and built a new home and our house is surrounded in dirt - which isn't the best situation for kids being outside at the moment! She is very much an outdoor child. I only mention this because I wonder if Jess is feeling frustrated???

Not sure if I was of any help! Aletha

Arianna, Reagan & Oakley

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