TIPS TO HELP THE LITTLE ONE OVERCOME THEIR SMACKING HABIT

6 months ago

When your toddler is angry, there are various ways they express their anger. Some scream, refuse to speak, roll on the floor, or sometimes even hit. If your child is a child who expresses their anger by hitting,  do not panic, because this habit usually will slowly go away as your child gets older.

Regardless of the reasons behind the actions, parents should wisely deal with it. There is no need to be angry or use harsh and threatening words. Here are some of the reasons your child may be expressing their anger by hitting:

  • Using their body as a medium of communication
  • As a way to protect themselves
  • Due to the inability to control their anger when they are stressed, they may release stress and build up strong emotions by hitting. 
  • Children have the emotional temperament
  • As a form of exploration, your little one wants to try new things that have never been done before
  • Changes in the environment; for example moving to a new house or there is a new member of the family

However, this habit should not just be ignored as it can continue to become a lifelong habit and can even carry over to when they are grown up. So try to do the following to help your child break the hitting habit:

  • Identify the reason and discuss the action

Invite your little one to discuss what makes them angry. Listen and explain calmly some other things they could do instead.

  • Teach them how to use their hands properly

When they have started hitting, encourage your children to use their hands for good things. For example, encourage them to clap while playing or singing.

  • Teach them to apologize

Encourage your kids to apologize to a friend or anyone they hit. Explain that the hitting was an unkind act. 

  • Give consequences if they make the same bad behavior again

If your child repeats their actions, give consequences. The consequence does not have to be physical punishment such as pinching or hitting, but rather could be taking away some of their privileges like limiting the hours of watching TV or playing hours on gadgets.

Having a toddler is full of stories and a challenge for parents. However, if hitting is a concern, parents can discuss it with a child psychologist for further advice.