Categorized | Parenting, Toddler Behaviour

Toddler Hitting - What to Do When Your Toddler Hits

Toddler hitting is a serious matter. It is a part of human development that children typically go through once they reach 2 years of age. Once you see your toddler displaying such behaviour, you need to correct him at once before things go too far. Do not just wait for it to stop because it won’t. Toddler hitting requires immediate action. Here are some tips to help end your toddler’s hitting behaviour.

How to Discipline Your Hitting Toddler

Know What Triggers The Behaviour

Your toddler is young, so generally he is still not competent enough to articulate his needs and wants. To make it easier for the both of you, identify the root of his problem. Maybe your toddler feels bad when he cannot reach his favorite toy on his own or maybe he hits due to exhaustion brought by too much physical play he does in a day. Is it because he feels pressured at home? Or does your toddler hate playing in large groups? If you can point out the cause of your toddler’s violent behaviour you can easily take steps to avert it.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Once you determine the source of his hitting, remove him from the situation as soon as possible to prevent an outburst. If your little one starts hitting another toddler in the playground, quickly remove him. Go to a more private area so you can talk to him. Tell him “Stop hitting because you hurt other people. You don’t want to hurt others do you?”. The space will give him enough time to calm down and regain composure so he can come back in the playground smiling and apologetic.

Model Good Manners

Even if your toddler hits, once he sees you do good deeds around the house, he will follow. Children love to imitate adults, especially their parents. Encourage your toddler by showing what you do when you are frustrated or when you are angry so the next time he gets upset, instead of hitting, he will remember and copy what you did. This will open his mind to the idea that there is a better way to handle dissatisfaction.

Keep Things Private

You already have a hitting toddler so do not make it worse by reprimanding him in public every time he starts being unruly. Scolding must only be done within the house, not in the park or inside the grocery store as this will only trigger your toddler to hit in public repeatedly. Never spank when disciplining him. You will only emphasize the message that it is okay to use the hands to resolve things. Instead, give him the time-out punishment. Let him stay in one place (e.g. his bedroom or living room) alone for a couple of minutes. Once he has cooled off, talk to your toddler and explain why you got mad. Inform him about the possible consequences hitting brings. If he hits in public, make direct eye contact and ignore him. This is an effective way to make him stop.

Make Communication Fun

Generally, toddlers love to use their hands as a way of communicating. Turn his behaviour into something more fruitful. Teach her amusing, alternative hand gestures that diverts this impulse aptly. For instance, as soon as your toddler’s hand starts to go, swiftly interfere with a cue phrase and gesture such as a high five, hand shake or even a hand song.

Provide An Outlet

Encourage your toddler to channel his feelings into something more productive. Each time he gets upset and starts to hit, make sure you keep his hands busy. Having a notebook and a pen handy where he can express his feelings through words or drawings is helpful. If he likes arts, provide him with paint and coloring books or a squeeze ball perhaps.

Give Praise

Most probably, the reason why your toddler hits is because he wants attention from you. Toddlers love cuddles and assurance of their parents love. So each time your toddler models good traits, acknowledge it. Praise him for being friendly, helpful, neat and polite. Positive reinforcement asserts your little one of his self-worth. If he is secured of your affection then hitting will eventually stop.

Hitting is similar to other negative behaviour. Never give in to your child’s hitting. But if you know how to make your toddler realize he has done wrong and what punishments he may face, then stopping any bad deed will be easy.

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