My 15 month old son has adopted the ever-irritating habit of hitting. He winds up, looks you in the eye, and boom! Smacked right on the face, arm, leg, or whatever is closest. After the initial swat, he keeps going. He don't hit, the baby sitter doesn't hit, and I'm not sure where this behavior came from. And for whatever reason, I (his mother of all people) am the only one he hits. Luckily, he hasn't been hitting anyone at the sitter so I don't have to deal with that yet.
I thought the was just trying out his new-found skill, not realizing it hurts people. So the first few times, I would make a big dramatic scene and say "Ouch!" which was followed by fake crying and exaggerated sad faces. My dramatic performance did demonstrate that this hitting, indeed hurt someone. He'd bury his face in my side and look up at me, sweetly saying, "Hi." This was his way of saying, "sorry Mom!"
The next day, we go through this charade again. And the next day. And the next day after that. After a few days, I resort to, "No, that hurts!" This has the same result.
I don't want my kid to be the 'hitter' unless they're talking about his baseball skills. At 15 months, I thought it'd be a while before I had to deal with behavioral issues. Has anyone else had an experience like this? How did you get through it?