Last Updated on 24th July 2019 by Dr Shivangi
When does your child hits you? Usually, when you don’t fulfill (immediately) what he demands!
And to stop a child from hitting you, you either SHOUT, HIT BACK or PUNISH him. These ways STOP the child from hitting for a moment, but he never learns that ‘HITTING IS BAD’. He doesn’t learn ‘NOT’ to hit you or anyone in the future.
He will hit or kick you again at the next instance when things don’t GO his WAY.
So, how do you stop a child from hitting? How do you make him learn ‘NOT’ to hit you or his peers?
Here’s what you SHOULD do: Address the root cause of ‘HITTING’, which is ANGER!
Frequent hitting by a child is a sign of an AGGRESSIVE behaviour. A child hits you because he feels frustrated and lonely as if no one understands him and is out to hurt him.
An aggressive child exhibits a physical or verbal behaviour that is self-assertive. He expresses his anger and frustration in a destructive manner. He begins to hit his own parents or friends.
Naturally, such an aggressive behaviour hurts you physically and emotionally. At one point, you might EVEN wonder what went wrong?
But, believe me! Once you UNDERSTAND the underlying emotions of your child that result in HITTING, you will NOT ONLY be able to stop this behaviour, but also help your child deal with his emotions in a positive way.
To clarify this, let me share with you a STORY!
How this Mom Stop a Child from Hitting?
I learned this EASY way to stop a child from hitting from a Mom (in mid 30s) in my neighbour.
It all started in a birthday party! We all were enjoying the cake and drinks when suddenly a kid started hitting his Mummy.
The real stuff begins now!
I have shared this incident as a conversation between that child and his Mummy. Read it carefully!
Aarav (3 years) demands his friend’s birthday gifts. Mom says “No” and he lashes out in anger.
Aarav: I want the gifts right now! (Keeps crying and hitting his mom)
Mom: (blocks his hands firmly) No hitting! Hitting is bad manners! It hurts me!
Aarav keeps hitting his Mom repeatedly. At first, she tries to ignore, thinking the child will stop by himself. But soon, she realises that children need a firm response to settle their bad behaviour.
Mom: Aarav, I know you are angry. You can be angry, but no hitting.
Aarav doesn’t listen to his mom and gives her another kick. Mom feels embarrassed in front of the other guests. She feels herself boiling with anger, but takes a deep breath and controls her emotions.
Mom: (as firmly as she can) You must be very angry, but you are trying to hurt me.
The moment Aarav comes to strike her again, she holds his hand and speaks firmly. She doesn’t shout because she didn’t want to create a scene. Plus, shouting will fuel Aarav’s anger further.
Mom: No hurting MUMMY!
Aarav: (still in the mode of hitting his mom) I want to hurt you, MUMMY!
Mom: I know you are angry, but so much that you want to hurt me?
Aarav now tries to stop his hands and realises that mom understands him.
Mom: (looking into his eyes with understanding) Yes, you are hurting me! You are angry! You can shout, stomp your feet, but no hitting!
Aarav looks into his Mom’s eyes and feels understood. He begins to cry. Mom gives him a tight hug. He cries for long but finally stops.
Mom: I know you were sad and angry. It was hurting you inside, so you wanted to hurt me, right?
Aarav stares at her. Mom knows he’s making the connection now.
Mom: So you hit and kicked MUMMY?
Aarav hides behind the sofa.
Mom: (kindly) Don’t hide! Feeling bad you hurt me? I’m ok. But, no more kicking MUMMY! When you feel like hitting, you can tell me. But NO hitting!
Aarav: (looking at her seriously) No hitting.
Mom: When you are angry and feel like hitting, you can tell me what you feel inside. But No hitting!
Mom: And tell me how angry you are? But what about hitting?
Aarav: No hitting
Mom: That’s right. Hitting hurts. No hitting, ever. Now, we both will have the birthday cake.
The Take-home Message for you
Never SHOUT or HIT BACK a hitting child.
Your child hits you because he wants you to respond. He is upset and seeks your love and attention. So, respond wisely.
- Hold your child’s hitting hands
- Understand what he feels inside
- Make an eye-contact with your child while you talk to him
- Give him alternate ways to express his anger which is not hurting
Also, don’t take the side of your child when he hits others, this will pamper him.Understand your child’s feelings and make him believe that you understand him. Let him know that it’s OK to be angry, but he can tackle it without hurting others. Click To Tweet
Let him know you accept and love him unconditionally, despite his anger.
So, what do you think about this way to stop a child from hitting? Did you try it? How it turned out to be? I would love to hear your success story!
Before you leave, don’t forget to share this with other parents on social media!
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