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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Hands are not for hitting...

Being the mother of one boy, I’m not sure if it is “normal” to be faced with the challenge of your child hitting another. But that is what we are going through right now.  Not only is it devastating that your child is hurting another, but it is also very embarrassing!

Of course, I do what I always do, I start asking the question why!?  After discussions with our daycare and a little research, I have found out that small children are most aggressive from 20-27 months of age.  And that hitting isn’t always about hurting someone, but more often about getting attention or an object that they would like.

So how do you deal with hitting?  (Thank you to the Okanagan College Early Childhood Education students for  providing some of the following information at a Parent Talk session about hitting held at The Bridges Family Services. www.thebridgeservices.ca)

Try the 1-2-3 rule. 

  • Stop 
  • Talk
  • Re-Model

Stop Rule #1:
When the child hits, STOP what you are doing and get down to the child and:
·         STOP the child from hitting again
·         STOP yourself from reacting negatively and calm yourself down before you talk to the child

Talk Rule #2:
·         TALK in a calm but firm voice and tell the child it’s not okay to hit.
·         TALK to the child who has been hurt and make sure they are okay.
·         TALK to your child and give them words to use to express themselves (they often will lash out when they don’t have the words to use to say things like “please give me that” or “will you play with me”.

Re-Model Rule #3:
·         MODEL the behaviour you would like to see, and give them options to do instead.  Ie “Hands are not for hitting, hands are for...hugging gently, or petting the dog, or wiping the table.”
·         Continue to MODEL good behaviours over and over. (ie...don’t hit the child for hitting)

Some additional recommended reading to help deal with hitting...
”Hands are not for Hitting” by Martine Agassi
“No Fighting, No Biting” by Else Holmelund Minarik
“When I Feel Angry” by Cornelia Maude Spelman

I really hope these tips can help you! and me!  And if you have any other suggestions or books you have read, please let me know!

 This blog post can be seen on www.okanagan4kids.com.

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