2-year-old who bites and hits

How do you help a 2-year-old boy who is hitting, biting, head butting parents and other children?

Stay close when he is around others, ready to intervene if necessary.Speak up for him if he hurts someone by giving the attention to the victim. For example say, "Wow a bite like that really hurts. My son knows that biting is not allowed. Let's all go together to wash it now."

Try complimenting his efforts to cooperate with the children by saying things like, "That was very polite to give Jimmy a turn. "I like how you shared your shovel."

Avoid saying things like, "Please don't knock over the lamp and push the baby like you did last time we visited Auntie Beth." Your child might as well have said, "Thanks for reminding me, Mommy!'' and then running to do just what you told him not to do. Better to tell him the positive of what TO DO an his aunt's house like, "When we get in Auntie Beth's house we are going straight to the mud room near the kitchen to hand up our coats and then we will sit at the table and have a snack with your cousins."

Your child is only two years old. Be prepared to be his "external" control until he develops "self-control" of his own. That is a gradual process and does not fully kick in for the duration of the preschool years. Appropriate consequences for misbehavior that do not include physical punishment and are related to the misbehavior will help teach the lesson eventually getting the child to feel remorse that he behaved poorly.

For more tips on dealing with aggressive kids, read some of the answers under "" on the Pocket Parent web site.Take care,

Gail Reichlin