It is to Owen these days at any rate. Susan got him two books, Hands are not for Hitting, and Feet are not for Kicking, which we read to him (although I sort of think it hadn’t really occurred to him to kick until we started reading him this book, oops). And he knows now that hitting and kicking are things he isn’t supposed to do, although most of the time he just can’t help himself.
I’m trying to respond consistently, although sometimes I will ignore him when he hits, because it often seems like he stops if he doesn’t get an angry reaction from me. He is especially naughty on the changing table, when he will kick out constantly while we are trying to change his diaper. What works best is to distract him by singing or asking him a question while simultaneously getting his little ankles in a pincer grasp and changing the diaper as quickly as possible. I also like to tell him that whereas hands are not for hitting and feet are not for kicking, noses are for honking! And then I quickly honk his nose, which sometimes will get him to giggle.
Another thing he will do now is that if Sean says something to him that makes him angry, he will come over and try to hit me! He did that to Susan once, too, at music class when the teacher told Owen not to throw his drumsticks, he got angry and went over and hit Susan. (As Susan said to me in a text: we always hurt the ones we love!)
A colleague at work is having the same problem with her similarly-aged son, and she told me he also hits and kicks their dog, which has not (yet) occurred to Owen.
I never thought I would spend so much home time avoiding being pummeled.