Oh no! The cute game where your toddler is hitting you is not so cute anymore. Whether it was in a playful way or not it’s not beneficial in the long run and needs to be put to a stop. Not to worry, below are a couple of ideas that will guide you on how to teach a toddler not to hit you.
1. Be Calm and Consistent
Me and my husband are both very relaxed and calm people. We are reserved and we don’t talk loud. No we are not boring we just enjoy a serene environment. As a mother I believe in being firm and gentle. I don’t like to scold at my daughter or give her a hiding if need be. The way that I discipline my daughter works for both of us. I have noticed too many times that toddlers ignore the word “no”. Life is just too interesting to take note and the word goes in by the one ear and out by the other.
To get back to my story, my daughter hits me and my husband. I know this sounds much violent, but seeing that you are reading this article you must be in the same boat so you know that it’s really not as bad as it sounds. My daughter hits soft and in a playful way. She will also do this to get attention. She is still too young to understand that hitting is wrong. Toddlers are very clever and they learn new tricks daily and hitting is unfortunately one of them. Yes it is excusable if your toddler hits you in a playful way, but what if it’s a teacher or another child at daycare.
So what do you do if your toddler is hitting you? It is real simple, First of all stay calm. While keeping a straight face tell your toddler no hitting. Tell your toddler that hitting is sore and then make a sad face to express it. Your toddler will notice that you don’t like the idea. If they do it again, repeat yourself calmy amd firmly. Your toddler is old enough to understand what the word “no” means.
Remember they need to learn that hitting is unacceptable so be patient. It wil take some time to get used to not being able to engage in this activity anymore, but they will get the hang of it eventually. Just remember stick to the word “no” and teach your toddler not to hit you. If your toddler responds aggressively there are ofcourse other ways to handle the situation.
2. Alternative Ways Of Touching
Toddlers see hitting as just another activity or game. They do not know that it is hurtful and wrong. It is up to you as the parent to teach your toddler not to hit you. You should also teach your toddler that there are alternative ways to touch.
When your toddler hits you the next time say “no” and hold your arm out to them. Say the words “touch gently” and rub your arm with your other hand softly. Smile and repeat the words. Your toddler will see that this way of touching is acceptable and sore or hurtful. This is especially important if you have pets.
3. Praise Is Important
There are many times where my daughter will hit our cat on the back. She thinks she is petting him. She forgots that she is not allowed to hit. I will remind her to touch softly and when she sees I am happy she is happy. Toddlers love to be praised. Ensure to praise your toddler whenever they listen and do what is told. The more you do this the more they will be able to distinguish between right and wrong.
Luckily toddlers learn very quickly and pretty soon hitting will be part of the past.