I am struggling with something that I thought would just be another phase, but this one does not seem to end. First, the disclaimers - Jules is a happy, healthy kid who is affectionate, funny and caring. I am a single mom in her 40s who loves being a mom and believes in following the cues of her child through the milestones.
Ok, here is the struggle. My son hits - namely me but sometimes others. He only hits when I am present and when he is tired. I have narrowed down the pattern to those two factors. So, I have learned that big things need to be complete before he is tired. For example, give him a bath before he becomes too tired. Don't keep him out past his normal bedtime and get him overstimulated. Don't let him play too long at daycare at the end of the day. He may seem excited and happy, but really, he is on the brink of tired and can start swinging at others soon.
Most days, he hits no one. I have learned how to work him through several tasks before he gets too tired, but sometimes you can't avoid it. Sometimes the tired sneaks up on you. That happened tonight.
My son had a great morning playing outside in the snow over 90 minutes and jumping on his trampoline. He melted into the lap of my friend just before his nap. He napped 4 hours - I tried to wake him at the 3 hour mark and he begged to go back to sleep. (His normal nap is 2 hours.) This evening, he was happy and active with just the two of us. I was always try to keep him on schedule with eating, bathing, etc so we moved into the bathroom at the normal time. Then it happened. He was sitting on the floor refusing to get up. I sat behind him and slowly raised him up then POW. He hit me in the face. I put him immediately into time out for 2 minutes. He apologized, we returned to the bathroom and then immediately he hit me again, harder. In complete shock, I picked up my now completely naked son and placed him in his bedroom floor for time out.
I know this will pass. Again, he only hits when I am present and he is tired, but this phase needs to end. When this happens, I become frustrated, sad and embarrassed, especially when it does this in front of others. My son is expressing his frustration and tired state, but I need new strategies, something that sends the strong message that hitting or any form of violence is not acceptable. Anyone reading this have any ideas?