Toddler hitting

How often does your child hit? A common question parents are asked when their children are hit. Many factors lead to toddler hitting. Seeing your toddler hurt another child can be humiliating, and it can make you question your parenting skills.

Why Toddlers Hit

Because toddlers are still developing, and have not yet developed self-control, it is difficult for them to understand that hitting hurts. Their ability to empathize is not fully developed until about age three. Furthermore, if your child is able to comprehend what is being said, she may not be able to restrain herself. Impulse control is practically nonexistent in one-year-olds. 

When they feel aggravated, they show it by beating others or themselves. Some toddlers feel the absence of physical sensory experiences, so they, in turn, hit themselves. Toddlers may hit when they experience big emotions.

Reasons Behind Toddler Hitting

1.      Trying to Communicate

When toddlers get frustrated for one reason or another, they may resort to hitting, since they don’t have fully developed verbal skills. Till they learn that there may be consequences, toddlers may consider striking someone as a means of achieving what they want.

2.      Imitating Someone Else

Children, in general, learn by imitating what they see. It is the reason why we as parents strive to be the best role models for our children. When toddlers witness someone hitting, they may begin to do the same. This is why it is so crucial for parents to demonstrate the behavior they desire in their children.

3.      Protecting His Space/Toys

Generally, toddlers are protective of their toys and don’t want to share them. Toddlers may hit when trying to protect their toys or when another child enters their space for fear that they will take away their toys.

4.      Testing Limits

Toddlers can also use hitting to test limits; they are smart enough to want to find out how far they can get, so they may use this action to find out what they can get away with. If not corrected, your toddler may see hitting as how they can get attention or what they want.

5.      Toddler Hits and Bites

Toddlers are not as good at communicating as adults. If they do not like something or if something does not go their way, they may act out and their behavior will reveal it.

As a parent, if you struggle with toddler hitting or biting, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon for kids to act this way toward each other. Numerous factors can lead to this.

Common Questions and Answers about Toddlers

1.     Is Aggression in Toddlers Normal?

How would you feel if someone destroyed the tower you have been building for an hour? A situation like this can be upsetting even for an adult. The same is true for toddlers.

They may get aggressive or frustrated. Another kid taking their toy will make them feel enraged, and they will seek out a way to express their frustration.

2.      Best Way to Discipline a Toddler Who Does Not Listen

In many cases, children do not listen to their parents. A common saying goes: your child imitates your actions. The first step is to create a peaceful environment.

Show them you care by being present with them. It is never appropriate to have aggressive discipline.

Tell your child why they are getting a time-out calmly. You should use age-appropriate discipline methods when dealing with toddlers and kids. You will get better results if you’re calm and assertive with your children.

3.    Discipline a Toddler Without Hitting or Yelling

In the short term, yelling and hitting will get your toddler or child’s attention, but if you are looking for long-term solutions to discipline problems, then those methods are not what you need.

Beating or yelling at your toddler will not teach him how to deal with his behavior. As well as physically harming a child, it can also hurt their mental well-being.

You can certainly discipline your child in other ways, for instance, by putting them in timeout or removing their toys, to name just a few.

4.      Is It okay to Scold a Toddler?

It is never a good idea to scold a toddler. Toddlers can be equally hurt when they are yelled at as when they are hit. Toddlers who are yelled at may suffer psychological damage over the long term.

Whenever you are talking with your children, you should always check your tone, and if you are unable to speak calmly, take a moment for yourself and revisit the topic when you are able to speak more clearly.

5.     Ignoring Toddler Tantrums

Make a decision based on your judgment. You will soon discover that some tantrums can be ignored as you get to know your toddler. In case of a toddler tantrum because something they want is not forthcoming, do not cave in.

In this case, ensure that they are safe and ignore their tantrum. By doing so, the child will learn that tantrums do not get them anything. There will be times when you need to assess the reason behind your child’s tantrum. In the beginning, toddlers don’t know how to express their emotions, so find out if your toddler is stressed out or just having a bad day is a good idea.

RELATED: How to Manage the 2-Year-Old Sleep Regression

6.      Toddlers Hitting Others for No Reason

It is important to remember that your toddler has a reason for hitting. What may seem like your toddler having aggressive behaviors is your toddler’s way of expressing what they are feeling.

Toddlers are unable to verbally communicate their feelings, so they resort to slapping others. It might, however, become a habit that kids habitually hit without any reason if parents do not step in.

Try to teach your toddler to self-regulate by teaching them to take deep breaths, teaching your child this may prevent some toddler behaviors like hitting.

7.      How Long Does The Toddler Hitting stage last?

Children usually have it until they are three years old. Generally, it starts within 18 to 30 months. By taking the proper measures, you can prevent it. In spite of the fact that children may continue to show tantrums after three, the hitting behavior stops or diminishes significantly.

8.      Toddler Hitting Parents During Tantrums

Spend time with your toddler. Try to learn the triggers behind your toddler acting this way. If your child hits you, staying calm and explaining to your toddler why it is not okay to hurt others, is good practice. Explain to them that punching others hurt and that there are consequences as a result.

Whenever your toddler strikes you, tell them that it hurts you by saying “ouch”, but never hit back. Beating children or anyone else is never acceptable. Use the phrase “Hands to yourself” often and practice positive parenting.

 Ultimately, if nothing works, therapies might be able to help.

RELATED: The Top 12 Positive Parenting Solutions Tips

9.      Toddler Hitting Head

It is not uncommon for toddlers to hit their heads. In general, parents shouldn’t worry about toddlers hitting their heads unless they’re showing some signs of developmental delays.

When the hitting goes out of control, your toddler is hitting himself or others. It’s possible to destruct him with something else to gently stop him.

10.  Toddler Hitting at Bedtime

The vast majority of kids dislike bedtime because they prefer to stay up late and play. To help your toddler who is reluctant to go to sleep, start bedtime early so that he feels that there is time to play before bed. Let him pick a story and another one for the next day so that he has something to look forward to the following day.

It would also be a good idea to do something fun at bedtime, such as tickling and providing a special bedtime snack, but most importantly, set up a bedtime routine and stick to it every night.

How To Stop Your Toddler from Hitting

Toddler hitting starts at the initial phase of a child’s life. Toddlers don’t really know how to express their feelings, so the easiest way for them to show aggression and frustration is by punching.

Here are Some Ways to Stop a Toddler from Hitting

  1.  You may find the reason why a toddler is hitting and help them find a solution 
  2. You can restrain them physically from hitting (without hurting them)
  3. Toddler hitting can be stopped by removing the kid from the situation.
  4. You may find and discuss other alternatives.
  5. You may redirect and distract them. 
  6. Emotional support can help to avoid toddler hitting.
  7. You can also prevent hitting beforehand by learning your child’s triggers
  8. You must try not to lose your temper.
  9. Being empathic sometimes turns helpful.
  10. You can teach them problem-solving skills.
  11. Monitoring their screen time, paying attention to what they are watching online
  12. Lastly, the child imitates. So, you should not hit them or anyone else 

Final Thought

If you notice that your toddler is having a lot of hitting incidents, and you’re wanting to change your child’s behaviors, you may need to consider changing your discipline method and find another non-aggressive method your child will respond to and possibly stop hitting.

So, remember, toddlers have no malicious intent for hurting someone. They do this as a response to the stimulus. Though it can be prevented and short-phased.

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