After snatching the last cookie out of her little sister’s hands, your 10-year-old daughter hit her sister when you asked her to return the cookie. Instead of apologizing when you asked her to, she threw the cookie to the ground and stormed out of the room. Such behavior can be frightening for you as a parent. You may think that you are raising a monster and feel unsure how to react to a child who misbehaves without remorse. After such an incident, take a few minutes to collect yourself and then speak to your child.
Hitting is a normal part of child development, but you shouldn’t let it go unnoticed. It’s important for your child to learn that it is not OK to hurt other people. Some parents tend to hit their child back as a response to hitting, but what kind of message is that sending to your child? Many experts, such as Dr. Jane Nelson, discourage spanking as a form of discipline. Instead, you should take a more positive approach–guiding your child to positive behavior is often more effective than punishing him for bad behavior.
In addition to cuddling, sharing and being sweet, toddlers often display unpleasant, angry tendencies, such as hitting, screaming and biting. Like many parents of toddlers, you may feel like your gentle baby turns into a tiny monster, wreaking havoc and distress with his bouts of anger. Teaching your child not to hit requires plenty of effort, including speaking to your child in a calm and positive manner. Your own behavior can make the difference between escalating and defusing the situation.
At the end of the day, some moms count up all the times theyve had to nag or remind or discipline their children. Dont hit your brother. Stop picking your nose. Stop talking back. Dont fart at the table. Wash your hands. Pull your pants up. Dont disobey. Listen the first time. Say hi to the lady and look her in the face. Dont use the toilet lid as your own basketball hoop backboard. Dont, dont, dont, stop, stop, stop.