Help! My son is a devil?

I’m writing on behalf of myself today… my son, who is delightful in so many ways, likes to hit. He hits me after I scold him for ordinary things like knocking over expensive flower vases or nearing his fingers to electrical outlets.

Perhaps it’s in my scolding.

The first time he does something he shouldn’t, I say no-no, that’s grandma’s pretties, or that’s owie… really, really owie.

By the 70-hundredth time he does something, I pick him up, squeeze his hand for emphasis and louder, say no-no! Grandma’s! Owie! I’m writing you out of my will! Etc.

And yes, I distract him. I hand him books or toys, move him to another location, play with him for a while, but despite days and weeks and uttering “no-no” more often than I do my own name, seriously, what up? He knows what I’m saying, he just defies me. And when I pick him up to emphasize my point, the little sonofa (wait a minute…?) slaps me in the skull. Then he laughs.

Is this normal? Am I a bad mother? Is my son destined for a life of chained legs and striped clothing?

6 thoughts on “Help! My son is a devil?

  1. I’m guessing your son is in the 0-2 year range… How ever bad it is now, wait till he turns three. I’m living with a 3 year old holy terror. I thought the baby stage was bad with having to prevent little fingers in light sockets and stuff at grandma’s from being pulled down. Then there was the telling of Grandma’s cat to “DIIIIEEEEEE!”. Then I though terrible twos were bad with the running and being able to reach inconceivable heights, and beating grandma’s cat with a broom, but no. Nothing is worse than a 3 year old. Ya still have this young child that still likes to get into everything and will climb what ever needs to be climbed in order to reach it (including the fridge O_o), but then you have the budding independence, so what used to be a simple no and distract turns into a kicking, flailing, screaming bundle of hate that needs nothing short of a psychological evaluation. Now I have heard that 4 year olds are much better……
    I’ll let you know in 8 months! :)

  2. No – by no means are you a terrible parent. Children have an amazing talent and pushing their limits – esp with the ones that they love. I appreciate that you are firm and continue going after the negative behavior. Do not let up on that. Set the limits. This, in my opinion, is key. Children need to know what their expectations are, what the limits are, and that consequences (good or bad) will come based on their choices.

    While each child is different, I have found great success with “charts”. Even if it is simply on a sheet of printer paper. When the child does something really amazing – they get a sticker on their chart. I focus on the good, the positive, etc. Rewarding great behavior can be just as effective, if not more, compared to coming down on the child. If you see him/her reach for something he should have, do something he/she shouldn’t etc – tell them that because of the choice they made – they do not get to put a sticker on the sheet. In time the fun of picking out stickers is more rewarding for them… the acts of “devilish” behavior no longer will feel as rewarding. When the sticker chart is filled a pize is given. Maybe an extra story at bedtime. Maybe for 5 days with stickers he/she can stay up 5 min. later. Maybe a “date night” with Mommy or Daddy because he/she is acting like such a big boy/girl.

    Give your child a challenge of “good behavior” and I think you will find that the rest, in time, will begin to come around!

    Good Luck!

    Mother of 3
    Daycare Provider


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