Toddlers kicking, slapping & hair pulling: Toddlers find it hard to communicate & when faced with a situation where they aren't comfortable they can react using their arms and legs as weapons. Oliver has been going through this phase lately & I found myself getting quite upset when Oliver was slapping, kicking and pulling Florence's hair just because she was trying to love him. Oliver prefers his personal space & Florence wants to nurture him, either way his behaviour was not acceptable even if it wasn't malicious.
My immediate reaction when an incident occurs was to shout at Oliver to shock him into stopping but this really did not work. I was really quite upset by his reaction & have tried a few tactics to stop the behaviour. However the best one so far really is to quickly & calmly (not shouting at all), lifting him up & sitting him on a chair/step away from the situation & briefly explaining what he has done wrong (in less then 10 words). Oliver has two minutes time out & then apologises for his behaviour. This also gives me time to remain calm & immediately stops the bad behaviour.
Florence came to play this morning & I have to say we only had two time-out sessions, for minor incidents i.e. as soon as Oliver reacted I removed him from the situation. It worked really well, the situation didn't spiral out of control, we had no tears & I managed to remain calm.
I've read many articles that say this is a passing phase & they reiterate that this is just your toddler experimenting with different reactions to behaviour but when your darling child lashes out it's a horrible feeling. Many articles recommend praising good behaviour and ignoring the bad; however this tactic didn't work for us & usually resulted in tears from someone.
Daisy & I adore the baby centre for advice, I found the following article Time-out's, How to make them work really helpful & I am hoping the success continues as we ride this one out - Michelle