Anyone have good tips for a pregnant mother with a 3 year old and a 1 1/2 year old who love to hit, scratch, shove, slap, kick, etc?  My old assistant (who is now working somewhere else) said we are spoiling them, and they need to be spanked.  My new assistant is lovely with them, and tries to divert them as opposed to physical punishment (we are against it!  But maybe we are wrong....), but both of these helpers have never had children, and I have researched a bunch, and come up with many conflicting "expert" ideas.  Are there any moms out there who have had success with a discipline method?  We have been doing time outs with the 3 year old, and I haven't seen much of a difference, but he is not as bad as the 1 year old, who doesn't understand time outs.  Sigh. :)

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You know KM, you are right. I don't think spanking means no love or abusive either. I see adults getting mad at moms all the time at our local grocery store, and it usually means I go all "Israeli" on them (I was born in Jerusalem, and raised there with a very different set of ideas of how to be a good parent!) and ask them to leave the poor mom alone to discipline how she sees fit. Adults who have never had kids just say to leave them at home while you go grocery shopping- um, okay, that would be abuse and neglect if there was no adult to watch them. We walk a hard line here in the US, which is why I so appreciate all these ideas coming from you ladies! There is always that threat of having social services take away those children, and I think the vast majority of us love our children, and would NEVER intentionally cause any harm. Also, you asked about why my kids hit- most of the time it's fighting between them- over personal space, toys, etc. They just seem to always get on each other's nerves. Every now and then my 1 1/2 year old will come to me, and try to punch me in the stomach, and say "hit baby hit baby". Awesome. My husband gets so angry when he does that, he usually tries to put him in a time out and talk to him about why we don't hit, and especially not pregnant women, but it doesn't work. I think he's learning to hit from his older brother, and taking it out on whatever frustrates him. We have a zero tolerance policy of violence in our home, but there doesn't seem to be a consequence that will help them stop!
It sounds to me(in my limited experience) that you little one wants your attention, so I think the only way to stop it, is to do what you're doing. IMO the situation should go like this: Little one comes up and tries to "hit the baby". Dad immediately picks him up and takes him away. Dad sits him down in designated time out spot(I think this is important especially when they are learning that time out is a punishment) and explains to him briefly that we do not hit, and if he is going to hit then he can't be with the family. After that, Dad could suggest that they go see mommy and give her a hug to say that he is sorry. When your husband brings him to you, give him extra cuddles and maybe just hold him for a bit longer than you normally would. This (hopefully) will re-enforce the good behavior, and discourage the bad one.

Like I said before, when my two older kids fight over toys, they get one warning. "If you don't stop fighting I will take to toy away." If it continues the toy in question is gone, even if it was just one kid causing the problem. It teaches them to work to get along because they both experience the consequence for fighting.

It was really nice of you to defend that mom. I've only had to spank in public once, and it was hard to do, fortunately it was over quick, but I could almost see certain moms re-evaluating what they thought of me as a parent. Oh well. :)
haha, "re-evaluating"- I like how you put that. Moms can be pretty judgmental, and even more than that, I think older folks who have been out of parenting for a while can get worse. I do like the little old grannies that just nod sympathetically, and pat the poor mom on the back, and say "this too will pass". They are sweet. I don't think they judge in the grocery store situations. I have had to take my boys out to the car because they were out of control! And then later I thought, you know, that just tells them if they throw fits, they get to leave the store and get what they wanted in the first place. So now I tell them if they don't behave and follow me they will have to be buckled in the cart, and they don't like that threat. :) Sigh. About the hitting baby situation, my husband is really good at making him say sorry afterward. And he is a little pro at that. I also wonder if they do this hitting and biting a lot more because they get sick, and therefore grouchy. I like the one warning thing. I really need to tell my husband and my assistant and get us all on the same page! That might help too.

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