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San Francisco, Ca, United States
I'm on the left, Andrew is in the middle and my partner Ed is on the right. My partner and I met in October 1993 and have been together ever since. Our son Andrew graced us with his presence on Christmas Eve 2007.

"Ouch Andrew, Gentle, Gennnnnnttttllllle"

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs
He has learned to hit. He hits his Grandma, his Auntie, his Uncle, and his two Daddies.
We've decided it is definitely not out of aggression..but more playful. The unfortunate thing now, is OUCH, it's starting to hurt.

Every time Andrew tries to hit, I say "no, Andrew, Gentle..gennnnnttllle". He loves to run toward you and lunge for you with both hands. Sometimes when you carry him, he will decide to give you a nice slap right in the face.

It takes all the strength inside not to laugh when it's my partner who is the victim. Something very funny about it, but we don't want to encourage him. I spoke to a few moms out there and they all claim to have suffered through this stage.

We have encouraged Andrew to throw a ball. He's really getting good and has developed quite an arm. Unfortunately, his aim and choice of object to throw could improve.
For example, we showed Andrew how to throw these:

He loves to come about 3 inches from you before he winds up and throws with all his might. These are not threatening as long as you are paying attention.

However, Andrew has not learned that not all objects should be thrown. For example, these have caused some bodily harm:

I've gotten hit with each of these objects, the one that hurt the most was the laptop. It's deceivingly very heavy and hard.
I say "No, Andrew, this is not a ball". Then I walk him to the ball (while I'm still holding the part of my body that suffered impact) and say "here, Andrew this is a ball, you can throw this".

Gosh, I hope he gets the picture soon. I really don't want any cracked front teeth. Have any of you parents gone through this yet?..Are we on the right track on dealing with this issue?. I don't want to pay too much attention to it because I want to avoid any sort of encouragement.


Rob said...

We have taught our kids to throw nothing in the house even balls. Throwing is for outside and if they do it once they get a warning, twice they get time out. They need to know this is not the right behavior. But that is just how my household deals with this situation. Happy FF.

Check out my Ff post at

Daddy Files said...

It just takes time and constantly saying "No." But eventually, gradually, they learn what's appropriate.

Melisa with one S said...

I'm with Daddy Files. Consistency, and definitely continuing to restrain yourself from laughing. Once you start laughing, IT'S ALL OVER. Soon he'll be throwing real laptops. :)

Jason said...

You actually want him to throw stuff?? I'm with Rob on the keep it outside. I'm afraid I'd have to buy a new tv on a weekly basis if I let them throw stuff inside.

Charlie on the PA Turnpike said...

My kids learned to toss stuff (stuffed animals, or very soft balls) at a young age (2-3) when sitting on the bed. But I did not permit throwing stuff anywhere else... this way, the hand-eye coord could be started in a controlled way.

Kyle Farmer said...

My 22 month old little daughter is also a bit of a hitter. And God forbid she is tired. She's like a toddler version of Mike Tyson (circa 1989) when she's tired. I'm hoping this ends soon. I really don't want to be the dad of the female bully at school.

pete said...

My wife found that saying "ouch!" in a non-funny way provides an effect to the action, which helped us prevent the behavior. Of course, it didn't always work by itself, but it did help.

Lauren (PPD Dads Project) said...

I'm with Rob - our kids aren't allowed to throw anything in the house.

That laptop looked like it did hurt! We have a little purple one here and I'd hate to get hit with it.

In my opinion, the best thing to do with the slapping would be to just gently take his arm, put it down to his side and tell him no, we don't hit people. If you want to give him an option to get out his "aggression" you could always get one of those blow-up punching toys. That way he can get it out of his system without sending anyone to the ER. ;-)

box offices said...

no comment
because im single hehehehe

john said...

Im with Rob, always remember what marcia said "mom always says, dont play ball in house". Nip that one

Plus, no laughing. that will just encourage him...I know, its cute now, but wait till hes older, its not so cute anymore.

yea, im big on keeping it simple when they are at that age "no" If they continue, take it away and repeat 'no'.

john said...

oh, as for the hitting, same thing, "NO" in a firm voice. DO NOT LAUGH!!!!!!!!!! but it is funny. Wait till they say their first naughty word. One time, cute, after that....OMG.

birthmothertalks said...

I find this funny, but I shouldn't laugh. I am at the school liabary. I have a bad sense of humor so even though I don't have advice.. thanks for the almost giggles. You made my day!!

ciara said...

believe it or not, i never had a problem w my kids hitting, biting, etc., when they were younger. now that they're older? well, that's a different story lol just kidding. you know how siblings can fight, right?

anyways, you have to reinforce, keep saying no, be serious about it, have your partner do the same. stop letting him throw things in the house, this instant, mister! lol that is a total no-no in my house. my hubs and his son used to throw football in the house. it's like helloooo that's not for indoors. but, it was just the two of them for a long time so they did stupid guy crap like that. i came along and broke them of it lol

Otter Thomas said...

My nephew went throught that stage. If he had a good aim we would all be dead.

Super Mega Dad said...

I really think they do it just to see the reaction it causes. Both my kids went through the "run full speed into dad's crotch with their head" phase because of how fun it was for them to see daddy laying on the floor crying his eyes out in pain. Not so fun for daddy.

WeaselMomma said...

yeah, never laugh. No matter how hard you want to. Next step, when he does this (or when you see he is about to ambush) firmly grab both his wrists and give him the 'angry eyes' and say no. It usually gets their attention. If that doesn't work and he's hurting people a swift swat on a diapered butt won't hurt him but will shock him into attention (and probably a few crocodile tears), but should be effective.

Bella Daddy said...

I throw them, um, ahem...OUCH!

Bobby said...

Better let us know how this hitting and throwing thing turns out! We've had dogs forever, and our baby for only a week. I'm pretty sure the training is the same? LOL

Mommy With a Penis said...

Firstly, Andrew in his baptism suit is BRILLIANT. Neither of my kids were big face hitters. They both did it but Michael and I believe in the firm NO. Not that we want to draw tears, but he has to know your're serious. (And you can't laugh, although if Sebastian hit Michael it would probably make me giggle senselessly.) All balls outside, as well as all "dirty" toys, sand toys, bulldozers, etc.

Sounds like you're doing a wonderful job. Keep it up. Hutch

DaddyKV said...

O boy, you got your hands full there. Hopefully I wont have to deal with that for a few more months.

desperateblogger said...

hi! of course you're welcome to leave comments in my blog. so! were you able to find the right gift for your MIL? I could probably make suggestions if you would give me a hint of what she's like.

anyway, i used to live in taytay, the town before antipolo. =)

btw, just tell your son "no" in a gentle but firm voice and say it like you mean it.

Renz said...

Oh I have a daughter who's a few months shy of Andrew's age, and she's started with the hitting stage. I'm a work at home mom so I closely guard her development, and realized it's because she sees other people do it (the hitting part) and thinks it's alright to hit people.

So a firm "NO, that's bad" really helped.

It's a continouos learning process for both us, the parents and for the child as well :)

Happy parenting!

Sarah said...

i could have written this post about my own son, word for word almost.


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