A major problem among some children is their instict to hit out of anger or frustration. This is not necessarily a learned fault. Some children instictively do. However, some do this because they have learned. They have seen it done to someone else, or have had it done to them.
Things You Will NeedYou will need to arm yourself with patience and knowledge in order to actually break your child from this habit.
The first thing you should do is observe. When is the child hitting? Why did the child decide to hit? Is there one person in particular that is suffering from your Childs behavior? This is an important step because this will provide an idea of the root of why your child may be a hitter. This doesn't solve it by any means, but it can help when taking the steps to solve it.
Always reprimand your child when they hit. Even when you are just observing, you must still discipline. It is never okay to allow them to hit an innocent person and cause harm.
Step 3Explain to them that what they did was hurtful. Tell them how bad it feels for the other person and make sure to show empathy for the person your child hit so they can see how it is done. Children learn by example.
Step 4Ask them why they hit the person. Why did they decide the other person deserved this? If it is you, the parent, they hit then ask them why they thought it was okay to do this.
Finally, make sure the child is feeling loved. I know you may think you are doing all you need to, but if a child is going through a hard time, they may just need a little reassurance. Just because they hit someone does not mean they are a bad kid. They are only doing what they know. If you are splitting from your spouse, there was a death in the family, or you are moving can all affect the child in different ways and one way they outlet this is through anger and they are not sure where to direct it.
Every person and child has their faults. Hitting is common. Even though it may be a sign of an underlying more serious problem, it could just be their behavior in the moment. However, as a parent you must also be an investigator and eliminate any other possibilities before assuming it is simply a non-rooted behavior problem.
Tips & Warnings
Never hit your child back to discipline them when teaching them not to hit. Think about it. You tell them it is not okay to hit someone just out of anger and frustration, yet you just did the same thing to them. It may be time to reevaluate your parenting a little bit. They may have learned to hit from you.
Breaking them from this does not happen over night. This may be something they will eventually grow out of. Try to keep your patience to show them the proper way to handle things.
Also, let them know that it is okay to hit if a stranger tries to grab them. Some children may not feel like they have the right to protect themselves after getting in trouble for hitting an innocent person. Stress the differences and do this repeatedly every so often to ensure they understand.