Hitting - Little Elm,TX

Updated on May 20, 2012
J.P. asks from Little Elm, TX
5 answers

Our 28 month old has been hitting for a couple of months. She has only hit the mom and dad and has not really done it to family members or her regular sitter. Tonight daddy was taking her from the changing table to brushing her teeth and hit him so hard I could hear the slap in the next room. Time out does not seem to work. We are in need of suggestions. She is starting preschool tomorrow and I'm afraid she is going to do it to others.

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answers from New York on

a. She is hitting to provoke your reaction, which I would see as a plea for connection, and respond to by showering her with attention BEFORE she hits, or during the times when she usually hits, such as if she hits while nursing so that you will look at her.
b. She may have a great deal of tension that she is trying to express. In that case, I would advise you to be very aware of preventing the hitting as described above. Try to avoid being bitten, when you can see it coming, and always respond by stopping her. But instead of being stern, along with setting the limit, try a kind voice, one that helps her feel safe enough to get in touch with whatever feelings are beneath her hitting. I suspect that if you set a clear, kind limit, looking into her eyes, she will burst into tears. Tell her "That's ok, Sweetie, cry as much as you want, I am right here" and hold her. If despite your best efforts, she does hit you, look her in the eye and say, "OUCH, you hurt me! You are mad! You can show me you're mad, but no hitting." Usually at that point your child will begin crying. A good cry will help her let those feelings out, and she won't need to hit any more.

It is also possible that she'll start giggling instead. Most parents get angry when their child starts laughing after hitting, but it is just a way of letting off the tension and upset that caused the hit. Let her laugh as much as she can. Crying may follow. In any case, after all these feelings are out, cuddle your little one and say "You needed to show me how you were feeling. You can show me by making faces. (Make an angry face here, then smile so she doesn't think you're serious.) But we don't hit."



answers from Davenport on

If she is only doing it to mom and dad, I think she is doing it to get a reaction from you. It will be hard, but when she does it...do not give any emotional feedback. Just pretend it didn't happen and move on. Once she realizes that she isn't getting any reaction from you, I think she will get bored with it and stop.


answers from Williamsport on

Take this from someone whose 3 children NEVER hit. Because you'll hear time and time again that hitting teaches hitting, meanwhile, I had to teach my 2 1/2 year old who would NEVER hit, that it's OK to hit BACK because some "time out" kid was hitting him in the gym daycare every day.

A firm quick consequence after a calm warning is a fast way to nip things in the bud before bad habits develop, and hitting is included.

Give her a good swat for hitting and say "no hitting". You may be philosophically opposed to the concept, but it will stop the behavior. It took one or two repetitions with all three of mine at their first attempts-my 1 year old already learned it too. She used to hit everyone in the face starting at around 8 months, and after one swat, she never did it again. Is she traumatized? No. She cried for 10 seconds and forgot she ever tried such a thing.

Your child is over 2, so it may take a bit more repetition, but it's the fastest way.

Once you have taught her at home, she will know it's wrong, and whatever they use at daycare will suffice. Kids usually try their worst stuff at home with parents if parents allow it.



answers from Sacramento on

Mom, If you do a search on this web-site under "hitting" there are lots of other responses from earlier questions on the same subject with good answers. I teach young children and I sugguest you be sure that you tell the preschool teachers that this is a problem you have been working on with your daughter. They need to be aware, and will appreciate your honesty. Ask them if they have any suggestions on how to help you teach her tahat hitting is not acceptable. Ask what sort of discipline they will use at school and see what they suggest you use at hometoo. Both you and Dad need to be on the same page with this. It unnerves me when I see kids hit their parents let alone other children. THis is something you really need to stop quite soon. She needs to know there are consequences to hitting others and they need to be age appropriate, Hope this helps

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