If he hits you, tell him No, we don't hit people and Walk Away - this shows him that hitting doesn't get attention and in fact makes people leave, something he doesn't want. If he hits someone else, give the victim your attention FIRST, then after you've comforted them, tell your son, "We don't hit people." Then give him words to reflect his emotion (I know you're angry that xxx, but we don't hit people. If you want to be angry, stomp your feet - and then Stomp Your Feet to show him what he CAN do). Also, you can use the "mirroring" method - reflect back to him his frustrations ("Tommy is MAD! MAD MAD MAD. Mommy said no Cookie and Tommy is MAD. Tommy hit mommy, he is so MAD!. But no hit mommy!" Then give him a pillow or something else he can hit.) It takes numerous reptitions of the SAME consistent response before they start to learn to express their emotions appropriately, so be consistent, whatever else you do.
at 7:33 PM on Jun. 3, 2009