Halp? Peef?

Nolan is 21 months, which basically means he’s just 3 months short of his 2nd birthday. Normally, I have a wonderful, happy, bright child who never ceases to amaze me and make me smile. But lately…well, I’ve been having some difficulties with him.

Lately, Nolan’s been spending more and more time on {or at least near – try getting him to stay on it now} the “time out chair”. This is because, in the past four days, Nolan has become increasingly…violent. Only with me. Actually, mostly with me. Matt does get bitten from time to time. The pinching, biting, and slapping is on a whole new level – especially the pinching. Nolan now makes the same face when pinching me that he makes when squishing his food in his little hands. He smiles and then, using all the strength he can muster, he pinches…and it hurts. And lately? His target has been…my throat. He’s been pinching my throat. With force. When he does this I remove his fingers and tell him “we don’t pinch! that hurts!” then I give him a time out. He accepts his punishment {usually, sometimes he fights it} and we move on with our day…but it generally happens several times in a day.

This behavior is obviously completely unacceptable, but no matter what I do it continues to happen. Is this a stage, or should I actually be worried about this intent to cause harm? Or can a toddler even have “intent” to cause harm?

The rest of the time, he is that sweet, happy little child. He gives kisses and hugs and snuggles. But this biting/pinching/maiming me thing is getting old, fast. Have you experienced things like this with your toddler? What worked best?

I feel like I’m failing somehow, because I don’t know the answers to make this behavior stop for good.

I’m wondering if it could be that he’s bored. We interact with him all the time, we read books and build things using his {extremely large} collection of Megablocks. We play with all his other toys with him too. He plays with the little 3 year old girl I watch 4 days out of the week. Our outdoors time is sparse, yes, but only because by the time we get him bundled up and take him outside, he just doesn’t want any more to do with. He literally will put up a fight if we make him stay outside longer than 20 minutes.

So, yeah. I’m kinda at my wits end here folks, any suggestions are most welcome.



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12 responses to “Halp? Peef?

  1. Vicky

    My son went through the biting thing and I didn’t know what to do about it. One time he bite me and not thinking, I yelled, really loud. Not a him, just OW! really loud. It shocked him and he stopped biting. All kids need to be corrected in different ways. For my son, him putting together that what he was doing was hurting me was enough. For my fiancee’s brother, the time out chair didn’t work, nor did countless other ideas. Against the parent’s knowledge, his sister bit him back and he stopped then.

    Good luck!

  2. from the research i’ve done, it really is developmental. and usually increases around other growth spurts. i.e. they start talking more. i think what you’re doing is the proper way to address it. and just waiting it out. redirecting the behaviour to something else. like a biting toy? if you have those teething ring things still? i would do things like that with the one child i watched that had a biting issue. it seemed to work.

  3. I think it’s normal. All toddlers are hard to keep preoccupied. I kind of think this age is too young for a time out chair, personally. They have no concept of time and forget why they’re even there in the first place. Landon doesn’t pinch or bite but he head butts and he slaps. When he does I get down on his level and look him right in the eye. Then I firmly (but not in a raised voice or anything) say, “Landon, we do not hit people. It’s not nice.” On the days where he has absolute fits, I sort of give him a time out but I put him in his room in bed to cool off. For some reason he’ll stay there but not on a chair.

    • We don’t leave him long at all on the time out chair, it’s supposed to be “one minute for every year” {according to Super Nanny – LMFAO}. I’ll get to his level, tell him what he did was wrong – basically the same way you tell Landon – then I’ll sit him in the chair and tell him he needs to have a time out. So he goes on for one minute and when that minute is up I get up and ask him if he’s ready to give mommy/daddy a kiss and say sorry. He always gives us a kiss and says “rry” {except for a few occasions where he shook his head, hit or bite again and ended up back in the chair for a minute} but I’m just frustrated that this happens umpteen times a day. It’s getting OLD, and my patience is waning. SIGH.

  4. dang… i’ve seen the bruises… that’s SO painful šŸ˜¦

    i don’t have any bright insight because the only baby i have is 23, and his name is dan. KIDDING. but i hope nolan gets over it quick! …i’m sure it’s just a phase, mama šŸ™‚

  5. rubytuesdayl

    My manager’s nephew kept biting people and was about to get kicked out of pre-school so one day his dad bit back. Not hard or anything but her nephew hasn’t bit back since…

  6. Yeah, talking to a toddler is sometimes like talking to a brick wall. No matter how many times I tell Landon not to touch the TV he still tries to drive his dinky cars all over the screen eleventy five times a day.

  7. Natalija

    I don’t have any children, so I might not be the best for advice, but my sister had a pinching problem and the only way my parents got her to stop was to pinch her back. Hard. She really didn’t like it and would throw fits and such, but after two or three pinches, she stopped. The only thing is that it’ll be very difficult on you because you’ll feel bad for hurting him. However, sometimes tough love’s necessary. And if all Nolan will have to complain about from his childhood is that you pinched him hard, then that’s peanuts as far as I’m concerned. Or you can just wait it out and he’ll stop eventually. Kids get bored of that sort thing after a while.

  8. Colleen

    You can try another re-direction with the pinching like you have with the apple. Try play-doh (or a home-made version). If he is interested in the “feel” of the pinch, this might help him have an appropriate outlet. Because he is still at the age where he will sample the play-doh, perhaps a homemade version would be better. Or a squishy ball that pinches well.

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