Posted in Behavior, Tips & Hacks, Toddlers

Aggressive behaviour from baby

My 1.2 year old has taken to hitting me and pulling my hair, as well as smashing his and his sister’s toys and even hit her on the head a few times with hard objects. He often smiles afterwards, especially when there’s a reaction, whether my squeal as he rips at my hair or my daughter shrieking as he does the same with her! I’m not suggesting malice, and I remember not ‘disciplining’ my eldest before she was 2.5 years, and even now, that’s less naughty step and more speaking at eye level in a firm tone etc. What can I do?

  • Elena
    Feb 05

    I'm sorry you are having to deal with such behavior. I dont have advice to give but I'm going through the same behavior problems and would like to hear from other parents

  • T
    Feb 05

    At this age, calmly saying “we use gentle hands” and hold his hands to “pet”. Then, redirect attention elsewhere. You’re using these opportunities to teach and model behavior and it’s normal and developmentally appropriate for him to hit. He’s learning and this concept can take a long time, especially now. He doesn’t have the ability yet and expecting him too is unreasonable and will cause you and them more stress than necessary.

  • Joanna
    Feb 05

    These are unacceptable behaviors in our family. We set up a naughty corner, or some area for them cooling down. When he has such behaviors, they will be sent to the corner directly and calmly a few minutes . Then he will be taken out, saying sorry and giving a hug. Please be attention, parents need to be calm in the whole process. No screaming. No anger. Just calm and firm. If he has a elder sibling, he totally understands what you like and dislike. He smiles after bad behaviors because he wanna test your limits. We start disciplining our eldest one (4 years old now) around 2.5 years old. However, I figure out my 1 year old start picking up bad behaviors from his elder sibling, such as tantrum, throwing toys etc. I start discipline my second around 1.5 year old. Discipling kids early can save a lot of energy and time later. They are clever. Never ever underestimate them.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 05

    Try to avoid a reaction(definitely easier said than done) and obviously impossible for your daughter but like you said, he loves a reaction! With my one year old I grab his hand sternly and said that hurt mom, please touch me gently and then I touch my face softly. If he hits the dog I say oh no! We love our dog, we don’t want him hurt, please touch him gently and again, I take his hand and pet. Even with other people like my friends if he is rough or hits them with a toy he’s finally to the understanding to where I say “oh no! That hurt her, you need to try to touch her again. Please touch her gently” and he’ll go and stroke her face. I think you’re right, there’s really no disciplining, it’s more of repetition I feel like. Be stern, keep a very serious look and tone and once he “touches gentle” show praise! “Ahhhh thank you! That felt so much better! I love you!” Good luck mama!

  • Tara
    Feb 08

    Thanks everyone. I failed to mention that my little man knows ‘gentle gentle’ and happily strokes gently, but then will smack etc. He’s also incredibly affectionate and a great hugger etc. I will try to minimise my reactions, and (a bit sad) my daughter is learning to be more wary of him when he’s on the prowl 🐯