So it's been two weeks since I've started the official operant conditioning of D-Man's hitting habit. It's still a work in progress but it's slowing improving.
I know that my parenting technique involves a lot of psychology (no matter how much I claim to not like or pay attention to it). I use operant conditioning all the time to teach my kids, the same as my parents did with me. It's just way more official when I'm giving details out instead of just doing it instinctively.
So we're all almost healthy again, the boys are over their colds, and I'm getting better slowly. D-Man has improved over the last two weeks. He'll still swing out when he's mad, but he's stopped smacking his brother all the time. He's changed to yelling at everyone, but since I yell too, I know where he gets it from. Yelling I don't mind as much (I'll still try to stop it, but to me hitting is way worse).
Fortunatly I've only had to resort to time outs twice. Both times were after a long day of daycare/babysitter while I was busy with school/work. To make matters more difficult, we're weaning from nursing during the day too. So his main method of comfort and soothing isn't there anymore. So not only does he need to learn how to act when he's mad, he has to find a different way of making himself feel better.
This process isn't going to take two weeks and be finished. I have a feeling that it will take a while, and be a life long learning experience.