Hitting - York,PA

Updated on November 04, 2010
E.G. asks from York, PA
6 answers

Hi, everyone. I'm asking this for my sister. We live a mile apart. Her little boy is 16 months old, mine is 14 months old. Her little guy is hitting a lot and she is really worried. I tell her it's a phase and he won't always be like that but she is sure he's going to be beating up on everyone his whole life. It's really bothering her. More than it bothers me and my little guy is usually the one getting the brunt of it! As well as their two dogs. Any advice you can give me to pass along to my fretting lil sis? Thanks, mamas!

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much to everyone who responded to my question. Just to let you all know my sister did always correct her son when he would hit; saying "no" or "we do not hit". But we both felt maybe she should do a bit more. And I feel like there has already been a decrease in the hitting. I like the idea of hand-over-hand modeling and lots of praise for good behavior. And also finding the words for him since he can't verbally express his feelings. Thanks again, mamas! My sis says thanks, as well. :)

More Answers



answers from Chicago on

Have her tell him what he should be doing. "We pet the dog gently" ""touch our cousins soft and gently" then model the behavior you want to see. Prasise him when he does the right thing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

good for you for being so relaxed, and helping your fretting sis! it is a phase, but she's right to be concerned. he's just frustrated, it's so hard when you're not very verbal and need to express yourself. but hitting is not acceptable, and he needs to be removed from the situation firmly and inexorably every time he does. then she can help him find the words, eg 'i can see you're upset because you want the truck. i'm sorry you're upset.' not too wordy (some parents go on and on and on) but often just knowing someone gets it helps the meltdown. not always. littles still melt down. just present it to her that her job is to help him understand and manage his feelings. once he can do that better, the hitting will stop.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

It is a normal phase, but she will have to try to stop him each time she sees him about to hit. Just catch his arm and say, pick one, "No hitting" or "We do not Hit". Repetition.. He is smart enough to put it together..

The reason children this age hit, is because they do not have the words for what they are feeling. So your sister will need to try to figure out what led to the hit.

You look frustrated because you did not get that toy first.

If you will share the toy, you will get your chance.

We do not hit when our feelings hurt.

Do you need a hug instead of you hitting?

Did that loud sound scare you?

I know you are angry because I said no cookie.

He will catch on.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Stationed Overseas on

The MINUTE he goes to hit anyone or anything make a consequence that will get his attention. The corner works for our kids, as it removes them from the situation and is something they dread... but different kids have different "hates." Find something that works with him and don't hesitate for a moment especially in public places (I find every store has a corner, as an example.)
Good luck!



answers from Las Vegas on

At that age, both of my children were prone to hitting but that doesn't mean that I let either one of them get away with it. At that point in time, I would just take their hands (if I was nearby) in mine and tell him that "hands are not for hitting" and hand-over-hand show them how to touch another kid, saying the word "gentle" at the same time. I'd also simply tell them that the other kid feels sad that he/she hit them and now we have to say "sorry" to them, at which point, my child would try to say "sorry" if they could and give a hug. I didn't start time out for physical agression until they were about 2-1/2 or 3 (2-minutes for a 2-year old, 3-minutes for a 3-year old). It takes a lot of work but you really have to be there when your child is playing with another child (when your child is that young) so you can step in and sieze those learning opportunities when they present themselves.

Hopes this helps.



answers from Philadelphia on

She needs to stay very close to him, all the time, helping him and watching him so that she can prevent the hitting. Make sure he never gets hungry or thirsty, and that he has time to do lots of physical stuff with his arms and legs. Maybe take him outside and find some sticks to hit trees with, so he can get all that arm-swinging energy out, and do something like that a few times a day. But the most important part of all this is the constant attention and redirection and prevention--all the mom's job.

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