Family Magazine

Help My Toddler Hits Me! Tips to Control Hitting in Toddlers

By Shwetashetye

My toddler hits me when she has a temper bout. Does this mean I have flawed parenting? Does it mean that I messed up? I just wrote these two questions to work you up - Relax!! Toddlers hitting is the most common irks of a new parent, or even an old parent for that matter. What worked in controlling it for one child may not work with the second.

So, my daughter is very good in understanding things and if I reason out with her, I am pretty much covered for most tantrums that a toddler deals with. But, as children are impatient it might happen that she might lose out on her patience waiting for me to respond and lash out. I do not blame her and nor should you. Toddlers are not yet equipped to deal with their emotions in the same diplomatic way that adults can. The plastic ways of depicting emotions is still a long way for them

Help my toddler hits me! Tips to control hitting in toddlers

What to do in such times then? Should a whack for whack system be followed? I am an experimental parent. I whacked her back once and that did not stop the hitting, but rather made the concept stronger. Well, mommy does it so its legit dude!!

But, what really worked are the tips I am about to share -

Belly breath

Check out this video from Sesame Street. This one shows kids how to belly breath. With repeated efforts and making my daughter touch my tummy to understand how to belly breath. I was able to not just associate hitting with belly breathing, but I also made a relation for her that when you want to hit, you should belly breath. We do many belly breaths throughout the day and it calms everyone's nerves.

Counting till 5/10 any number that your child knows

This one is an awesomeee trick. If the trigger for hitting out is not having the patience to wait for you to finish up something, make her count till x number. This way you buy some time and she is busy too. But, caveat is that you must cater to her as soon as counting is done. Don't stretch it too much!

Distract or deviate attention

Distract her by making an association. Every time she is about to hit, take her hand and hit a pillow or the bouncing doll. This will require for you to be attentive and anticipate the hit. But, once an association is made, she will punch the pillow or whatever the association is made with. You just need to persevere.

Ignore till extinction

This is the most common strategy. I tried this too, but getting hit numerous times till it totally fades out is not my cup of tea. My daughter has strong bones and I am not that agile to duck every attempt. If you can do it, go for it!

These four strategies are sure shot ways to get the child distracted. I am sure there are others too, but these have really worked well with my daughter and I am very consistent with it.

Toddler hitting is just a phase, unless your child is hitting you after 5 years of age. If that is the case, then it's better to go for an ADHD diagnosis. But, otherwise, you have nothing but a very active toddler at hand.

What are your strategies to control hitting in toddlers? Share them in comments and let us know!!

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