Toddler Thinks Hitting is Funny – Stop Hitting Strategies
Toddler years here we come! I guess everyone knows already that the toughest age of your child is when they are in their toddler years. WHY? It’s the age where they start copying everything they see. Also, it’s the stage where they begin HITTING! Yup, it’s true! And, the crazy part is, Toddler thinks hitting is funny.
But, no worries moms and dads. There are some strategies you can apply to stop your toddler from hitting.
FIRST, UNDERSTAND WHY TODDLERS STARTS HITTING!
Why do toddler hits? Are parents should be blamed for this actions?
Hmm… Well, I don’t think anyone should get blamed for their actions but instead, I think, not just the parents but everyone else should be careful with what they do in front of kids.
One of the reasons why toddlers start hitting is because they see others do it. Sometimes we joke around laughing, and the next thing you know your hitting reflex comes in and then your child start copying you.
I noticed my son started hitting because, in our household, we sometimes joke around, laughing and our hitting reflexes comes in. And then, we realized that we have to be really careful about what we do in front of our son. And, our Toddler Thinks Hitting is Funny.
There are also other things that contribute to these hitting problems. Like, abuse, watching fight scene movies, or when they see other kids hitting each other.
So, now, here’s how you can stop your toddler from hitting.
How to Stop Your Toddler from Hitting
# 1. ANALYZE YOUR TODDLERS SURROUNDINGS
Like I said from the beginning, toddlers start hitting because they see other people doing it. So what do you do? Talk to everyone in your household to stop hitting each other even if they are just joking around. Toddlers don’t understand what’s joking around or what not.
Remember, raising a kind and respectful children starts at home. We are their FIRST MODEL!
# 2. DON’T MAKE IT A GAME
Almost all toddlers hit. They don’t have the communication tools they need to express themselves, and eventually, frustration or even curiosity will turn into a hit. When they hit someone, whether it is an adult or a child, immediate action is required. It’s important to let your child know that hitting isn’t allowed.
Do not laugh, smirk or give your child any attention for the behavior other than to let them know hitting isn’t okay. When you give them too much attention for the behavior – either positive or negative, they’re more likely to repeat the offense.
They repeat the behavior partly because they received attention for it, and partly to test and see if they’ll receive the same reaction a second time.
2.) DON’T HIT THEM BACK
Hitting them back actually reinforces the hitting and aggressive behavior. You’ll end up with a child that hits consistently to get what they want.
This is not only true with just hitting. Every negative thing that kids do, make sure you don’t mirror them. For example, when they say “stop it,” your answer should not be “No, you stop it” But instead, say something encouraging and let them know that the word “stop it” is not pleasant.
3.) BUILD YOUR CHILD’S COMMUNICATION SKILLS
The other cause for hitting is that a toddler lacks the communication skills to get what they need. They may hit for fun or out of anger. It’s not necessarily an act of aggression.
Help your child learn new ways to ask for what they want. If, for example, they want to play with a child, teach them the way to ask. Maybe instead of hitting, they can give the child a toy.
And, the word that is very effective to teach your child when your child wants something is the word “PLEASE” We teach our son this, and every time he wants something now, instead of whining and hitting, he starts saying “Please” And it’s so adorable.
4.) UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILD
When your child is not feeling too good, they don’t know how to manage their emotions because they are too young and so what do they do? They act out and cry and start hitting. So, know when they’re tired, frustrated, excited or bored. Pay attention to their behavior and emotions when the hitting incidences occur. You’ll be able to help manage the hitting better if you understand when and why it happens.
Also, do not blame your child for their poor behavior. Toddlers tend to hit as part of them growing up. It’s not only your kid who hits, but most toddlers also do because it’s the only reaction they have when they feel uncomfortable, confused, or if someone took their toys, etc. In time they will learn that they are not supposed to hit.
Our job as a parent is to make them feel reassured that we understand their actions and that they are not a bad person and we just need to teach them how to handle it the next time they feel uncomfortable.
5.) NAVIGATE HITTING SITUATION WITH CARE
Be on high alert when you’re in a situation where your child may hit. For example, if you take them to a playgroup once a week and they generally hit other children, then it’s time to stick close to them and prevent any hitting. If you’re able to catch their hand as they’re getting ready to hit, you can teach them quickly that it’s not acceptable.
Are you a first-time mom? Check out this 5 Tips for First Time Mom with a Newborn article.
6.) ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR CHILD’S GOOD BEHAVIOR
When your child is doing good, and they listened to you, we also need to acknowledge that and not only see the bad things they do. Praising your child’s good behavior while playing, gives them confidence and they will soon realize what’s right and what’s wrong.
7.) TEACH YOUR CHILD HOW TO CALM DOWN
Teaching your kid how to calm down when he is in an uncomfortable situation may help him stop hitting. When your child is upset, have him hold his chest, and have him take a deep breath. Do this with him everytime he/she is upset.
8.) PROPER DISCIPLINING
Each parent has their own method for discipline. Timeouts are often successful. It’s also important to make sure the child makes amends to the person they hit. Learning to apologize is a good skill.
Additionally, it helps your toddler learn to empathize. Empathy is a skill that won’t come until later, but it’s never too soon to demonstrate good behavior.
Like for our son, we put him on a timeout and have him sit for a minute until he stops crying, and then we talk to him about what he did wrong. We also encourage him to give hugs as a gesture of saying sorry.
9.) REMOVE YOUR CHILD FROM THE SITUATION
If your toddler is just being downright defiant and the no hitting message isn’t getting through, it may be time to remove them from the situation.
This is particularly important if they’re hitting other children. If a short timeout doesn’t work, then you can stop taking them to playgroup until they’ve learned to get their hitting habit under control.
Toddlers hit; it’s often part of their development. That doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. Set firm ground rules, teach proper behaviors and have patience. It won’t be the first time your child will misbehave. Start setting the foundation now while they are still young. The best years to build your child’s character and attitude is while they are still a toddler.
A SCRIPTURE JUST FOR YOU:
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
At first, when our son started hitting, we didn’t think of anything about it. We thought oh, he’s just playing around and he will stop soon. But, we were wrong. As new parents, we didn’t know any better and then, we realized that he keeps on continuing hitting, that’s when we start analyzing why he was doing it. We first notice that he got it from us at home because when we play around, laugh, or talk, our reflexes are hitting or slapping jokingly. He started copying us.
So, the first thing we did is to stop ourselves first, and we start changing his way of communicating to us and then when this stuff didn’t work, we began to discipline him appropriately. In between all the thing we did, we also praised his good behavior when he listens to us and not hit us or others. Now, our toddler doesn’t hit anymore.
It takes patience and understanding to stop your child from hitting. I hope you enjoyed this article and please don’t forget to show some love by sharing and commenting. Thank you 🙂
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