My sweet, adorable, snuggly boy is in a less than sweet, less than adorable, definitely not snuggly phase: hitting.

A week or two ago, my just-turned-two year old started hitting us when we don’t give him what he wants. Announcing nap time, denying him another cookie or taking away a toy have all resulted in hitting lately. It’s not every single time he doesn’t get his way, and let’s be honest, it doesn’t hurt. He’s two. But I’m certainly not waiting until it does hurt or until it is constant to correct this unacceptable behavior.

It is not cute. I do not like it.

At first, we told him that hitting was not OK and to go say sorry. He said sorry. But it didn’t stop. More than a week later, here I am, writing about how my toddler hits.

So this weekend we moved to time-out. If he hits, it is straight into time-out. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. After a couple minutes in time-out (sometimes two minutes, sometimes more, especially if he really gave me sass and I need to regain my cool), we bring him out of time-out, make him say sorry and then talk about “no hitting.” He has to say “no hitting” before he can play again.

Austin Moms Blog | No Hitting

We’re three days in. He’s still hitting.

What will work to end this very not-OK phase? I’m not sure. We’re trying and I’m sure we’ll get there. But in the meantime…oh how I loathe this behavior.

Who is in this boat? Who has walked this path before? What did you do and what worked?




  1. The problem with time-outs is that they’re not very punitive (kids get attention and are sent to their cozy, nicely decorated, toy-filled rooms). And toddlers’ brains don’t have all their wiring completed; so they don’t always get the connection between the behavior and the time-out. But I like your approach, and 3 days is too early to give up.


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