My loveable, once a wee-infant, now tyrant toddler insists on hitting. Incessantly. It’s embarrassing. It’s agitating. It’s normal.
As a parent we’ll all encounter some form of defiance from our little ones. So if you’re in the same boat tell me if you can relate. Here’s a quick dialogue of the hitting spats:
Son: swats the air “NO!”
Mom: pleasant tone “No? What do you mean No?”
Son: walking closer while swatting air “No!”
Mom: sarcastically “Ok Nez”
Son: swats mommy’s face. cries.
Oh no he didn’t!! Yet, calmly I grab his arm and reply with a “Gentle hands Nez”. That’s usually followed up with a repeat swat. And yet another cry. Sometimes he’ll follow it up with a laugh but you never know.
My thought process: nip it in the bud. However, hitting cannot simply be ‘nipped’. According to Dr. Rob with Natick’s Pediatrics P.C., it’s a way more involved process than just nipping.
Well, prior to finding Natick’s site, I thought I’d resort to some old-fashioned techniques. So then I tried the ignoring his hitting. UMMMM NOOOOO. That only works in certain situations — like when a child is wanting attention. But what I soon found out is toddlers do not hit or bite for attention. Dr Rob informs parents, toddlers do it because they want to know the boundaries.
When a child continuously exhibits unwarranted behavior it’s our responsibility, as an adult who knows better, to reiterate the desired behavior.
“Spare the rod, spoil the child” ring a bell?
Well, that’s exactly what we DON’T want to do. What good is it to fight fire with fire?
Toddlers are not enlisted in the militia. They’re not trying to vindicate themselves. They simply want to know there will be consistent boundaries in place for them, in order to feel safe.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning the toddler terrorism, but I’m avid about not resorting to corporal punishment.
One thing parents should keep in mind, when the open palm or tiny chomping teeth make contact with yours or someone elses body, is educate your child on why they shouldn’t hit.
- Flash ’em a frown.
- Keep wording in the positive.
- Tell them why they shouldn’t hit.
- Be consistent.
- Follow all the sternness up with a little loving hug.
I’m gonna take Dr. Rob’s advice and see where it gets me. Wish me luck.
If all else fails there’s always the holy grail!