A one-year-old fights.

The 1-3 year old: why he fights and throws his toys.

How to stop unwanted behavior and set boundaries

The child from 1 to 3 years does a lot of things that can not be called “good behavior”: biting, fighting, throwing toys. Parents are often puzzled: is he exploring the world in this way, or is he already starting to bully? We continue to look at typical behavior at this age.

Why a child fights and punches in the face

Fighting begins as innocently as the habit of biting, as evidenced by a letter from Judy about her nine-month-old son Jake. I cite it here because the mother raises the question of how to create a safe environment for the child in the home.

“My son Jake has been crawling and climbing on his own for three weeks now. How do I get him used to not touching different objects on the coffee table, not touching plants, etc., how do I teach him to understand the word ‘no’? He also has gotten into the habit of punching others in the face without any malice, and I have to watch him all the time when he is playing with other kids.

He is a very joyful child, and he doesn’t show any ill will. He doesn’t understand that it’s better to pat his cheek or caress him than to hit him. I take his hand and pet him so that he understands that he has to do that too, but he slaps me in the face again. Maybe he’s too young.”

Judy is on the right track. Jake is just showing interest in the world around him. Although he has a few more months before he starts walking, it’s never too early to learn what’s right and wrong. When he approaches another child or a pet, his mother should tell him “be quiet, be quiet” and guide his hand, showing him how she does it.

As I said before, the first manifestations of aggression in children at this age are caused by curiosity. The child is trying to understand what the reaction will be. That is why Judy should tell him, “You can hurt Annie. Take it easy.” And if he did slap her, you had to put him down and explain that you shouldn’t do that.

As for the environment in the house, at nine months of age, you can’t ask your child to be self-controlled yet. I don’t think you should fence everything off or tape it up – children should live among things and objects and know what they can’t touch. Put away only the things you don’t want to put at risk, or the things that are capable of harming your child. Follow him everywhere. Explain, “You can only touch these when Mom is around.

Let him hold different things and examine them. The child needs to rattle, bang, make noise, twist and move something – as long as it’s not your stereo system! Boys especially like to fix things.

What to do if a child throws

It often starts with a child throwing toys out of their crib or tossing food while sitting in the high chair. Instead of just saying, “Oh, you threw the toy away. Do you want it to stay on the floor?” – Mom and Dad pick it up. Then the child realizes, “Oh, that’s a really fun game!” Sometimes it starts with kids-especially boys-throwing toys at someone (usually mom, because she’s always around), as seen in the following letter:

“Here’s the problem I have. My son Beau, who is eighteen months old, has been throwing things for the past six months: during playtime, during meals – and worse, throwing toys at other people. I can see that he doesn’t do it to get hurt. But he is a strong boy, and it hurts. In any case, this has to stop.

When he throws food, I tell him not to do that. I may even take some action: interrupt the feeding, take him out, etc. But as for throwing toys, there’s nothing I can do, except say, “Don’t throw toys at Mommy, it hurts her,” and take the toy away. But he finds another one and throws it again! I can’t take away all his toys. “

This is another mom who has taken the right path. Bo probably throws because he has discovered a new ability, not because he wants to hurt others. And his mom thinks it should be dealt with immediately.

The problem is that she offers no alternative to his behavior. In other words, she has to show him situations in which it is acceptable to throw something without hurting others. Ultimately, she can’t wean him off it altogether, and she doesn’t need to – he’s a boy.

So mom needs to put this ability in a different direction: give him five balls of different sizes, which can be kicked or tossed. Take him outside and explain, “This is where you can throw balls. If it is winter outside, snowballs can be used instead of balls. It is very important to find a completely different place so that he understands that it is not allowed to do it at home (unless you have enough space). When he throws a ball, praise him.

Since he’s been throwing for six months – a third of Bo’s life – I suspect he’s already learned how to turn it into a game and is pretty good at manipulating his mom. She should not only take away the toy he is throwing. Even if she is with the baby at home, she can take him out of the room with lots of toys into another room with nothing but boredom (such as the living room) and sit with him. He is now eighteen months old – he will quickly realize that his mother will no longer tolerate this behavior.

If children bump their heads, pull their hair, pick their fingers in their noses, bite their nails.

It may surprise you that I have lumped these behaviors together with the first. But they are all ritualized behaviors and develop in children from one to three years old. They are ways of self-soothing and even responding to irritation. Many of these behaviors are not so much dangerous as annoying, and they usually disappear as suddenly as they appear – when parents don’t pay attention to them.

The problem is that when a child bangs his head, punches himself in the face, picks his nose or bites his nails, it is extremely upsetting for parents, which is only natural. And the more worried or angry they are, the clearer it is to the child: Here it is, the best way to get Mommy and Daddy’s attention.

And from this point, the behavior, which originally emerged as a means of self-soothing, becomes one of the ways to manipulate parents. Consequently, it is better to ignore these habits of the child, but at the same time make sure that he does not harm himself.

Such a case occurred with eighteen-month-old Max. At first he began to bang his head in despair – he lacked the words to express his desires. But soon it began to escalate, when Max realized that he had found a reliable way to get his parents to drop everything and come running for help.

At the time I met him, Max was the real lord of the house. He refused to eat, slept very badly, and his behavior was going nowhere – he was squealing and fighting. He knew he could get away with anything, because all the rules and restrictions were overruled as soon as he started banging his head.

For safety’s sake, we brought in a sack chair filled with dried beans, and every time Max started another head-banging session, we would lift him onto that chair. Now that safety precautions had been taken, it was easier for parents to get through these bouts of rage without fighting with him or interfering with his behavior. At first he resisted, kicking even harder when they put him in the chair, but we were consistent and persistent. “No, Max, you can’t get off the chair until you calm down.”

The key was not to stop at any point. When a child exhibits any of these five behaviors for the sake of self-soothing, and the parents allow themselves to be manipulated, it immediately becomes clear to the child that they are allowed to command in the house. I saw that I needed to correct the effects of months of Max’s domination of the housemates.

During my visit, I demonstrated this to them when Max, as usual, pushed his food away and kept begging for cookies. I looked him straight in the eye and said: “No, Max, you can’t have the cookies until you eat your lunch.” This was a very determined boy. Accustomed to setting the tone, he found himself startled – and hit the tears. Finally, an hour later, he gave in. He ate his lunch and got a cookie.

It’s hard to believe, but after four days, Max was a completely different kid. His parents continued to use the beanbag chair during his temper tantrums, and they were very consistent in their sleep and feeding routines.

At two years old, kids are great at understanding that you change the rules – and in this case, they were setting them for the first time. And when Max felt desperate, he would go to the highchair himself. During the next month, the occasions when he banged his head became rare, and the whole family was relieved because the parents realized that now he was no longer in charge.

For medical issues, be sure to consult a doctor beforehand

“I learned how to hit.” How to wean a child from biting and fighting at age 1

A 1-year-old beats his mom and keeps the whole family in fear? Yes, it happens! Why and what to do says child psychologist Elena Lagunova.

Year-old child with an equally innocent look can ask for hands and beat their relatives. Because he doesn’t really understand the difference.

A young mother Katya complains at my appointment:

“My one-year-old fights, Sevushka beats everyone – me, my dad, my brother. The cat gets it too, though it’s probably everybody’s. What will happen next? Well, okay, when something is not for him, but most of the time, for no reason. Can with a cheerful face to come up and bump. I’m surprised (and sometimes in pain) almost crying, I say, “My darling, honey, do not be angry. You can’t do that, it hurts Mommy. Do not do so again. And he laughs. He does not understand a word. It’s the same on the playground. If he likes someone else’s toy, he takes it away. And he’s so aggressive, he’s just a bandit! Is it because he’s a boy? Maybe it’s time to treat him? Or a belt, like Dad suggests? So you tell me, is this even normal, no?”.

At this time her son Sevushka looks at me with angelic eyes, makes unsteady steps around the office, quietly playing with toys, and the bandit, you know, does not look like one.

Catherine is understandable. Any parent wants to raise a child who knows how to communicate in a friendly way. But how to do it? Where does such aggression come from at this age?

Reasons. Why a child fights at 1 year old

Almost all one-year-old babies fight. It even happens that a 1 year old child bites without stopping. And there are four main reasons for this.

The child demands what he likes. At this age, the baby discovers that taking away or hitting is one way to get what you want. And he tries again and again.

He tries to say something. One-year-old baby may not speak or speak poorly. How he is sometimes hurt that he can not get his point across! And he understands the speech of others with difficulty, especially words that do not refer to specific objects:

“This is a spoon, this is a cat, and your ‘can’t’, where is it? I heard it once next to my mom, another time next to the stove. Is it everywhere?”

Develop your baby’s speech, and by the age of two, in many cases he will start to negotiate instead of fighting. In the meantime, the child bites at 1 year old, trying to make contact, so, for example, he shows his displeasure or interest.

He is not in control of his emotions. A 1-year-old’s feelings change quickly. One day he is raging, and the next day he is calm himself. He has yet to learn how to control his emotions and express them in acceptable ways. Often, the baby is so gripped by anger that he/she hits everyone he/she can get their hands on. A one-year-old baby punches his mother in the face, and when he calms down he hugs and strokes her again. A bite or a punch in the face is not different for a child, he just fights, though it seems otherwise to mom.

Attracts attention. Only after the age of three will the baby learn to assess whether what he is doing is good or bad. At one year old, he/she seeks any emotion from an adult, not understanding the difference between positive and negative. Let’s say he went to the socket and saw a whole play: Mom frowns at his eyebrows, pulls out of her seat and scolds in many words. He’s sure to ask her to perform more – he’ll crawl back into the same place again. A one-year-old baby bites and pinches because he can perceive what is happening as a game. Believe me, this act has nothing to do with true cruelty.

At one year, you can’t tell if a child is aggressive or not. Too much depends on the mood, the situation. You can tell if he is calm or bullied, by the age of three or four.

Of course, such behavior can be a sign of disorder. But a disorder always has several signs, a parent should be concerned about something else. With autism, for example, a child not only fights, but also bad contact, does not look in the eyes. All alarming signs can be discussed with a psychiatrist, which all babies are recommended to undergo at the age of one.

“If the love of fighting is age-related, does it go away?” True, but only in part. Competent actions by an adult will help your child learn to live without fighting. And because of illiterate, normal fights can turn into true aggression.

What to do. How to wean a one-year-old child from fighting

So, a 1 year old child fights, what should parents do? Here are some tips on how to teach a one-year-old child to fight.

1 Speak briefly and clearly. Repeat the same idea many times. Firmly and confidently, without turning to shouting. Not only forbid, but also teach what you can do. The child will learn the prohibition best if you connect words and actions, set an example.

2 Help your child understand that fighting is ineffective. And teach other ways of agreeing with a peer or adult: swap, wait, etc.

3 Offer an alternative. If a child swings to strike in play, catch his hand and say, “You can’t. Take care of me. You can hit the ball.” And show him how to do it. If your child swings in a fit of anger, it is better to move away and say, “You can’t. Take care of me. You’re angry. Stomp and yell to make the anger go away.”

4 Don’t punish. Even if the baby gets into a fight over and over again, you shouldn’t slap him or yell loudly. The child will be completely confused: why does the parent forbid hitting, but does it himself? Children trust the example of an adult more than they trust speech. If the kid shows persistence, you can increase the distance with him, but no more than that.

5 Monitor your feelings. Getting mad at your toddler for fighting is seriously stupid. Sooner or later the child will start to cope with his emotions. And parental intemperance can lead to the saddest consequences.

6 Give positive assessments. The child is sensitive to parental words. If you say “greedy”, “thug”, “brawler”, he will be. Try to instill that he is “generous” and “Friendly.

And if the child hit back at the abuser? Here, psychologists have different opinions, but most believe that it is necessary to teach a child to fight back closer to the age of seven. Until this age, kids can not correlate the strength of the impact on them and the strength of the response – because of this, they can give “change” much stronger than the offense.

Sometimes parents also need to work on themselves

Asking ourselves how to wean a child from biting at 1 year, we must also analyze why the baby’s behavior causes such fear in the parent.

Let’s go back to the story from the beginning of the article. Together with mom Katya we analyzed her feelings. It turned out she was afraid of children’s anger and any aggression in general. Parents taught her that anger is very bad, that it is wrong to be angry. That’s why fights put her mom on edge.

But in fact it’s normal to be angry. Anger occurs when the desired is not the same as the result. The task of parents – not to suppress the feelings of your baby, and to help him learn to express them without harm to others.

All this I explained to mother Catherine. She left reassured and happy that there was no need to treat the child. A month later I got a message from her on social networking sites. Seva almost stopped fighting, started hugging mom more often. And he even learned to say “I love”.

Fights at one year of age are common. You should react to them calmly and resolutely. Instead of scolding, tell your child, “You can’t. Take care of me.”

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