♥ When Toddlers Hit

♥ Unfortunately it happens. Inevitably your adorable sweet perfect toddler will probably hit or smack a person. (or you) Teach your toddler that hitting is not ok and try to prevent hitting by doing your best to be authoritative yet calm. And teaching by example.

When a toddler or young child hits, it's important to remember that it's not because they're a bad kid or that they're being malicious. They are simply testing out a new trick they learned. Often they accidentally hit inadvertently through play, then suddenly he/she is in the spotlight. Sometimes they learn it by seeing others do it (day-care, school, playground, older siblings) Either way, it causes a reaction and suddenly becomes an interesting way to get attention. (whether negative or being laughed at) 

By being firm with our reactions and approaching the situation calmly yet confidently, we can downplay the excitement and make it less worthy of repeating. If they don't have an audience or get a reaction - they'll realize it isn't really worth the effort and they'll give up on trying it anymore. Using a calm yet firm voice and finding a balance between not raising your voice nor being too gentle, is the key. Do your best to appear completely unamused as though the behavior is neither offensive to you, nor fascinating - and that it's not ok.

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Copyright Andy Dean Photography

♥ If you start to notice hitting or see the temptation or curiosity starting to develop, try a preventative approach by staying nearby to catch the behavior before it happens. When a child hits another, we as adults are usually are caught off guard and don't know how to react or discipline. But if the behavior becomes a pattern, it is important to assume that they are going to hit again and we need to be ready to prevent the hitting.

This may sound like a frustrating and challenging task. I mean, who wants to go to a play date where they have to be that "helicopter mom" hovering over their toddler everywhere while the other moms sit and casually chat about their mani-pedi appointments? This is what your child needs you to do. We need to be prepared for one of those mischievous little smirks they give us right when they're about to strike! This is an open invitation for us to come and stop them. Often the child will look at mommy first - out of the corner of their eye, almost as if they're asking "is this okay?" before they hit. They're testing to see what is acceptable and what isn't.

It won’t be long before they learn to stop themselves, learn some self control, if you can be there to gently block the hit and state calmly and confidently, “That's not nice. or Hitting hurts.” You are letting your child know you care about the feelings of others, therefore so should they. Also that you are there for them and will help them to stop doing things that could potentially get them in trouble, or worse, hurt another child.

Give your child repercussions and consequences. If you notice your child has been hitting for more and more lately, it might take them a little longer to acknowledge your forewarnings or to believe you when you say, “We don't hit.” A child might get upset and express emotions over their loss of control of his own hands. Which is ok. Acknowledge their expression of anger and frustration but stay calm and steady in your demeanor. If the child tries to follow thru with the hit anyway, be prepared to end the play date abruptly. This is just as much for his benefit as it is yours and the other children. (...and the onlooking mommies!) You might want to say: “I can see you're having a hard time with hitting today. If you continue trying to hit, we will need to go home and you wont be able to play with your playdate friends.” Then you MUST follow thru on this the very next hit if they hit again. This is an effective approach for discipline in this situation. Of course you will most likely be carrying your kicking screaming child all the way to the car. But stand your ground. (and good luck getting them into the car and getting their seat belt buckled!!) Keep your cool.

experience, nanny, babysit, babysitter, years, knowledge, help, children, baby, babies, infant, toddler, kids, kid, children, child, baby, babies, newborn, infants, toddlers, enlighten, share, advice, insights, professional, mom, mommy, mommies, mother mothers, parenting, parents, parenthood, tips, tricks,
Copyright Andy Dean Photography

Speaking of keeping your cool, of course this this goes without saying but the parent should never spank or hit the child when they are in a hitting phase. All this does is teaches the child that it IS in fact ok to hit others. "Do as I say, not as I do" will not work in this kind of situation I assure you. We cannot be hypocrites now can we?

It's pretty common for toddlers to go through a hitting phase. It is not a sign of bad parenting, nor a bad child. It is simply a child crying out for a strong authoritative role model to take their hand and steer them lovingly back on the right path of kindness and compassion. And to teach our little loves that it's not okay to hurt others. 

For more information about newborns, babies, infant, toddlers: you might find my FUN educational youtube videos helpful: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyUZ0DQiBXWUvkOaKRtHFVA

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Toilet Seat with Built-in Potty Training Seat for Toddlers:

Potty Training Timer Watch:
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Everyone Poops”: https://amzn.to/2THjBuX
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Piddle Pad for Car Seat: https://amzn.to/3hpTHVq

Car Seat Lamb Skin: https://amzn.to/3qXTn3p

Toddler Potty Training Toilets:
I’ve had experience working with Toddler Potty Training Toilets that cost $400+ (yes, that’s a thing!) and ones that are only $5 (the cheaper ones usually fall apart quickly). These are MY favorites and most reasonable in price. The kiddos love them - they are close to the ground, comfortable, sturdy and easy to get onto:

Huggies Pull-ups:

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Night Time Pull Ups - Goodnites:
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Toddler Underwear:
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Step Stool For Kids:
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Other Treat Rewards: