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My toddler likes hitting things. What do I do to stop it?

Posted by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:11 AM
  • 10 Replies

Joss is almost 18 months old. She's just started hitting things in anger. She almost never hits me, but it has happened a few times. She growls and throws her arms down with closed fists. I hold her hand and say "No. We DO NOT hit. That hurts." Usually that stops it, but sometimes it doesn't.

Now every time we tell her to stop doing something, she throws her fists up and hits whatever's closest to her. She seems really angry for some reason.

What did you do to stop hitting?

by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:11 AM
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by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:17 AM

 Time outs. We grab my sons hand in mid swing, put it to his side and look him in the eye and in a low tone and stern voice tell him we do NOT hit. Then put him in timeout for 2 minutes (he is 2, do a minute per age). Then I go in and I sit down at eye level again with him and look him in the eye and tell him why we don't hit (I tell him it's cuz we love everyone and everything so we hug and kiss instead of hitting). Then he gives me a hug and runs off all happy. It's really been helping a ton.

by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:18 AM

it stopped with us when she could communicate better. my oldest was so frustrated i couldnt understand what she was saying that she would just start smacking me.

by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:21 AM

keep doing what you are doing, be firm with the time outs and letting her know it's not OK.  It's totally a toddler phase. My oldest went through it about that age, and he got over it around 2.5 years old.  Now my 20 month old son is doing the same thing.  I think it has a lot to do with the fact that they can't verbally communicate their anger, and goes away when they are more verbal.  Hang in there mama!

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by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:24 AM

we have found time outs have really curbed dakota's hitting. she threw a fit when we first started them but now understands them and even last night when she hit another child at a party immediately she was put in time out and didn't hit again. shes 21 months and we've consistently done them since she started hitting at about 17 months. It's a process but takes consistency...

by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:24 AM

I use time outs. My 3 yo has developmental disabilities, he hits a lot. The only thing that helps is time out.

by Ruby Member on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:26 AM

Keep consistent. Tell her "no hitting!" every time that she does it and then GIVE HER THE CORRECT WORDS... say "I see that you are upset!", "are you angry?" etc. Acknowledge her feelings and help her build better communication skills. She is hitting because she hasn't the ability to translate her feelings into words yet.

I am a Private School sending, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Homework Helping, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Academic pushing Mother. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it raising my child - I will do that, Thank You. I believe that a woman's place is in the home taking care of her house, children and husband. I am submissive and proud, my husband is head of my home. I am a proud, traditional Roman Catholic, as is my husband... Yes we are teaching our children that The Church is the only Church.               Aimee


by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:27 AM

 Give her something to hit.... something she can safely take her frustrations out on.... a special pillow.... My boys (teens) have a weight bag, and a speed bag... they hit them a lot =-)

by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Try to teach her to redirect her anger. Does she talk yet? If so, you could tell her while she is in timeout......Instead of hitting things, you can use words to tell mommy "I'm mad!!!"  Show her how to get her anger out positively.

by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:31 AM

We did a few things when our Evie went through this phase. Hitting a person was an automatic time out, no warning. That stopped right away. We also gave her the word frustrated and made a sign for it (shaking both fists at the same time) When ever she looked like she was going to hit something we said "Evie? are you frustrated? do you need a hug?" Then she would come over and hug us and defuse the situation. Now she's two and when she's frustrated she can sit in her quiet chair, get a hug, or take a deep breath. But now we do it to curb temper tantrums. It's cute when you see her start to get angry, then she stops and takes a few deep breaths....cracks me up. It's working for us. Your little one is learning how to deal with stress and frustration, it's the perfect time to give her the tools you want her to use when she gets older and has the same feelings.

by on Jun. 13, 2010 at 10:33 AM

My son is 18 months and does the exact same thing...bump

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