How to Teach Your Toddler Not to Hit

How to Teach Your Toddler Not to Hit

Toddlerhood is definitely a memorable stage for every parent (but then again, what stage isn't?). It's the time when your kid first learns how to walk, talk, and--to the dismay of parents everywehre--hit people. There's just something about being a toddler that makes them want to hit others, and while it's a very common problem, a lot of parents still struggle with it.

Often, the reason why young children resort to hitting people or throwing things is the fact that they have a hard time expressing themselves. Yes, they may be learning how to articulate themselves during this stage, but since they are just beginning to learn, words will fail them.

If you're a mom or dad currently dealing with a hit-happy toddler, below are a few tips that might alleviate the problem:

1. Take a hold of your child

The first step in stopping your child from hitting others is to... well, literally stop your child from hitting other people. When he or she starts to do it, hold your child's hands firmly to keep them from causing harm, and explain that what they did was wrong and wait until they calm down.

In the case of a toddler throwing things, be sure to take away the object that they threw and explain to them that it's wrong.

2. Remove them from the situation

In the event that you child doesn't calm down, take them out of the immediate area, and talk to them in private. Doing so has two main advantages. First, is that being away from the cause will give them time to be quiet and calm down, allowing you to effectively tell them what you need to say. Secondly, being away from the area will also prevent any future harm or damage from occurring.

3. Teach them the power of words

Again, the main reason why toddlers hit others is because they cannot find any other way to express themselves. There aren't enough words in their vocabulary yet that they can use to say what they need to say, and they haven't had enough experience dealing with conflict either, so they resort to their physical instincts. When this occurs, set your child aside, and take the chance to explain the importance of using words.

Teach them the right words that they need to say when they're in an unpleasant situation. Give them specific words or phrases that they can use, such as "stop" or "please move" Pay attention to the situations that prompted your child to lash out, then give them the rights words to deal. Depending on the situation, this may also be the time to teach your child the word "sorry" so that they can apologize to the people that they may have hurt.

4. Teach them how to be gentle

Sometimes, a child hits or throws things not because they are angry, but simply because they want attention and they went a little too far. In cases like this, it's best to teach them how to be gentle. Let them know that they grab the attention of other people with a light tap or touch.

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