Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My child hits other people's children

Not my child; this is the question someone asked advice about at a mainstream board.

Stay with your child in such situations, and get between them and any other children if there's any sign of them hitting. Model the kind of behaviour with other children that you want your child to pick up on. Be really verbal "little girl down the slide and then it'll be your turn. There she goes 1, 2, 3 weee and now it's your go!". "That boy is playing with that ball. Shall we find a ball for you?"

Make sure you always have a soft toy or a book or something in your bag - acts as collatoral in potential toy conflicts. I know some groups of mamas whose children regularly go home with each other's soft toys, because that was the thing each child was happy holding as they parted. Charity shop toys are good for this sort of thing - I'd always be prepared to just give a 60p toy away to some other person's child rather than having a fight start.

Just in case you weren't anyway... you need to be right there with your child, helping them to learn about interacting with the world in a way that will make people love them. It's not a question of telling off, it's just that they've learned to walk and they've learned to talk a bit, and now they are in the process of learning to interact with strange children - they need your loving guidance in getting that right.

5 comments:

Clare said...

In my opinion, it's also important not to punish children when they do hit, but just to stop them doing it (physically if necessary, but gently ie. holding their arm in order to protect the person being hit!) and to explain that what they're doing is unacceptable and to help them try to resolve their issue with words.

stacy said...

children are never too young to understand how their actions make other people feel. talk to them about how that other child must have felt when they hit them. Ask them how they would feel if the roles were reversed. telling them not to do it won't solve the problem, they have to understand why it's wrong and decide for themselves not to do it.

Claire said...

Often I see children hit as an (unrelated seemingly?) reaction to a dominant parent's contolling behaviour. Usually control of a 'minor' thing such as getting the child to sit and eat when they are not interested, telling them not to do something just *because*. Parent mystified as to why child is hitting as their own behaviour they utterly justify and do not question.

Any one else seen this

emma said...

Oh Claire - nail on the head. It's there everywhere. Most recently, I heard "I tell him that if he hits me again, I'll put him on the naughty step, and he always hits me straight away"...

Melissa said...

my child is 3.5 she hits or scratches others when angry. has for over a year now. I am ready for her to decide herself not to do that anymore. :) I suggest hitting pillows, soft animals, walking away - even yelling! anything better than hurting other people. she gets no warnings at the playground anymore and we leave right away. she goes calmly and doesn't protest but a little. she still hits often at pre-school too. This phase is not passing fast enough for me or her peers. we certainly don't hurt other ourselves, she just really hasn't learned to communicate properly yet... right? at home if she hits now we turn off the tv if she is watching (she loves "shows") or she knows she can't watch it later if she hurts someone at home. I am NOT a fan of these made up consequences but I don't know what else to do. it will even happen on a day where I "think" we are very connected. I am just now learning nvc as well. any ideas, questions or suggestions are very welcome! thank you for reading!