Yes this is normal developmental behavior. And I call it
"miss" behavior, rather than "misbehavior"
Every misbehavior is a symptom of a need that is unmet, or "missed."
In the words of Ruth Beaglehole, CNVEP, "Every behavior is a tragic attempt to meet an unmet need... tragic because the behavior in question will NOT result in the need being met."
It is our challenge, every time our child "miss" behaves, to determine what that unmet need is, and then help them to find a behavior that meets that need, rather than misses it!
Childhood can be a stressful thing, not just for parents, but for the child also. The littlest things can stress a child out. Even picking a child up without warning can cause a child to internalize stress. And if your household is going through any changes, your daughter could be picking up on the energy. Or it could be something else. Whatever it is, hitting could be her way of releasing that energy. Redirect it. After you have told her firmly but with love that it is not ok to hit a person, because that hurts, REDIRECT her to something she CAN hit (a pillow, a teddy bear, the floor) and ENCOURAGE HER TO HIT THAT ITEM!!!
"Your Two Year Old" is a great book that will give you the ages and stages and what to expect. It is so important to have age-appropriate responses to our children. (Impulse control, which is governed by the prefrontal cortex, is not fully developed until 27 years of age, actually, and NOT 3, by the way! so hang onto your panties and keep delivering your message with love!!!)
Lots of Love,