From the article, I now know what I’ve been doing wrong:
- I tell Joshua “Stop!” but always in a loud voice. It should be a firm but not angry voice instead.
- I should always stay calm. Whew, that’s a tough one! Showing Joshua that I am angry only models this behavior as acceptable. Total opposite of what I want him to learn.
- I should acknowledge how he feels and explain why he is being stopped from #hitting. I always skip the “acknowledge” part and go straight to the explaining part. I forget, toddlers also have to have their feelings acknowledged.
- I always correct his bad behavior by saying, “No!” and never showed him what he should be doing instead. Ayayay! Now I understand why he can’t seem to overcome this hitting stage. He just doesn’t know what to say or do to express what he wants instead of hitting.
- I only tell him to say, “Sorry” and to kiss or hug the person he hit. But that’s only after he cows in “fear” after I shout at him to stop. I should learn to praise him for appropriate behavior instead. Toink!
Check out this article to see if what you have been doing to stop your toddler from hitting is correct or lacking. (Just like me!) It’s like a “lightbulb moment” for me haha! I hope it works this time!
Many children display aggressive behaviors such as hitting in response to specific triggers or to test out different behavior to see how others will react.
The challenge for most parents is that what may come naturally in reaction to this behavior (i.e, a BIG reaction including yelling and punishing the offending behavior) is often the opposite of what works best.