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What consequence would you use for a 5yo who hits?


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I am looking for some new ideas. What would you use for consequences if you had a child who, daily, hit other people (with intent to hurt them, not accidental).


I am looking for just some good ole parenting advice.


Feel free to pm if you would feel more comfortable.



Dd5 has already been in occupational and behavior therapy since she was 2yo, so that is not the answer here. She has a psychiatrist and is on a constantly changing med list as we try to find good combination for her. She is diagnosed PDD-NOS, GAD, ADHD....and honestly, just plain ole mean on some days. :(

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The Beyond Consequences classes start next Wednesday night (test drive is this Wednesday night).


Honestly, my almost 5 year old is simply not allowed, at home, within armslength of someone else the great majority of the time. Even within 2 feet of an adult, he's still rough with others. But really, if he is within armslength of his brother for a full 90seconds, you can GUARANTEE his brother will be hit, scratched, pushed, bashed with something, etc. I just didn't know what else to do. I can't allow C or V or anyone else to be hurt.


ETA: We also allow him the choice of saying, "I was wrong for _____" or "I"m sorry for _____." He almost always chooses wrong since he is rarely sorry unless it is a true accident that he doesn't find funny. We do require it. We often require restitution of some sort also. And we encourage "blessing" people proactively.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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What worked for us in our situation was to put the child in a basket hold on a chair (for your protection). You need to make sure the child's feet can't reach the floor to push off. Time out does not start until the child has resigned himself to not resisting physically or verbally. Then time out is one minute per age. Luck of timing or the method, our lives were blessedly improved after a month of this!


I probably need to remind myself hourly how blessed I felt all those years ago :)



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My ds is also sometimes just plain mean (most days) and what we've started doing is an extended time out to his room. Not as punishment, per say, but as a break. It goes like this: "Adventurer, you don't seem to be getting along well with others right now; I think it's a good time for a break in your room. I will let you know when it's been long enough and you can come out, but in the meantime, I'm going to sit right here in the hall to make sure your brothers don't bother you (unsaid: and you don't try to escape). If you need anything, I'll be right here."


then I also send whichever brother is the co-conspirator, because sometimes the one brother who is the most likely object of little ds's meanness is also a sort of silent instigator, and then I do exactly that -- sit in the hall between their doors, everyone in his room w/the door closed, for around 30 minutes while everyone has a chance to calm down. I had to start sending the tattler/co-instigator as well because of the particular dynamics in my house, but obviously you would only do that if it was needed in your house.


I will open the door if he asks for a snack, because for him, hunger = way honkin' worse behavior, yet he has trouble recognizing hunger cues. So when he asks for food, I feed him. Anything else and he gets told, "sure, as soon as your 30 minutes are up; you have (x number of minutes) left and then you can (whatever it was he asked about)."


I have not been doing this long enough to see if it will truly work but I think it is showing some signs so far. He's s-l-o-w-l-y becoming more spontaneous to ask for forgiveness/apologize to the offended when he lashes out, which is a HUGE deal for him. He's very social and this seems to be the first consequence we've ever tried that really truly consistently clicks with something inside of him. I am cautiously hopeful that this might actually help him turn the corner on this.


I also got really hyper diligent at making sure he eats meals & snacks at a specific time every single day. The rest of us are pretty much grazers, but he doesn't recognize hunger cues well so will go from fine to raging in seemingly no time flat, all because I didn't pay attention to the time and he didn't pay attention to his body and so we didn't realize he was hungry until too late. This seems to be helping some as well.


He's not dx'ed with anything and he's not in any therapies, but he is definitely very......different. I've just not yet had the chance, time, $, opportunity, etc. to get him evaluated; he did receive Early Childhood Intervention from birth to age 2.5 for speech delays and just general stuff because he was a preemie; I share that only to say he's not dx'ed with anything but yet he's not a strictly NeuroTypical kid either.


You have my utmost sympathies/empathy, though. It's so very heartbreaking to watch a child just be down right MEAN. So hard on the momma heart. :grouphug:


Oh, my ds just turned 7, though he's "young" for his age; if your dd is also a bit "young" for her age, then maybe start with shorter time limits at first. I hope you find something that works; it is so hard.

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Our last foster daughter had a LOT of trouble with that one. What worked for her was having her do something nice for the person she hit. Usually that was to clean their room, or change their sheets, or if bad enough do their weekly chore for them. If I had to monitor her while she did that chore, then she had to do something to make up for my time lost like sweep the kitchen, empty the dishwasher etc. After she was done we would sit down and have her come up with two better ways she could have handled the situation. Honestly what finally did stop it completely was when my youngest son (they were a year apart) was granted permission by the therapist and CW to hit her back. Only took it happening twice since he was the target 99% of the time. lol

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