A Guide to Stop Kids Who Hit

Children are sometimes hyperactive. It seems their energy is endless. That belongs to a child and certain developmental stages of a child. It becomes a problem if the child is constantly busy, unable to concentrate, is impulsive and listens poorly, hits at people. Being very busy, unable to sit still, running around and fighting. 

These are some of the characteristics of a hyperactive child. Hyperactivity can be associated with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). But not all children with ADHD are hyperactive. In such cases, it is referred to as ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. Now the question is:

How to tackle the kid who hits?

  • Address the aggression systematically from an early age
  • Create a daily discipline
  • Address the Source of the Aggressiveness
  • Understand your child well
  • Correct the child without getting angry
  • Keep child’s behavior under observation
  • Stay calm and let your calmness spread over your child
  • Acknowledge the feelings of your child
  • Respond clearly and consistently to Your child’s queries
  • Let your child learn proper social behavior from you
  • Don’t ask a why question to your child. Ask the reason
  • Don’t force your child to say sorry
  • Initiate positive contact with your child

Here is how to stop kids who hit

Address the aggression systematically from an early age

A child of 2, 3, or 4 years old often shows aggressive behavior, such as hitting, pushing, biting, or kicking. Almost all children are rebellious or aggressive at one time or another. It can scare you, and it is not fun.

Yet, it is customary in young children and is part of development. A child has yet to learn to deal with emotions and how to express themselves. 

Common aggressions:

Aggression is very common in 2-year-old children. At this age, a child does not yet think about what he is doing. A 2-year-old usually expresses himself physically because he cannot yet (adequately) express his emotions. If a peer has a toy that your child wants, he can snatch it from the other person’s hands. Or if something happens that your child doesn’t like, he pushes or bites the other child.

Your child can also hit or kick you if, for example, he is not allowed to do something he would like. Your child’s developmental phase also plays a role. 

Time of Discovery:

You need to understand that children of 2 years just discover that they are their own person with a will of their own.

Just think of the stubbornness phase, the no phase. Also, a toddler cannot empathize with another. So they do not yet understand that they are hurting someone else.

Become more verbal with your child:

Young children can also tell you something about their aggressive behavior. For example, if you are busy for a while and your child hits you or hurts his brother or sister, your child actually means, “Look, Mommy, I’m here too!”

Your child then asks to contact you. Understand this trait and talk with him or her more verbally so that s/he finds no other option but to communicate through speech and not physic.

Create a daily discipline

In most children, the aggressive behavior slowly diminishes from the age of 3. Children can then express themselves better with words. They also unlearn negative behavior. Your children learn better and better how to solve something in a different way, for example, by asking something or by saying ‘stop.’

But every child develops in its own way and at its own pace, which is why aggressive behavior is still common in children as young as 3 years old. Creating a proper discipline for the child (not really imposed, you need to talk with the child offering clear ideas for easy understanding).

Aggression from frustration

A 3-year-old child is becoming more independent and wants to do more and more things by himself. Does your child also regularly shout “Do it yourself!”? Due to the increasing independence, your child can become frustrated if, for example, it is not possible to do something on its own.

They can take out this frustration with aggressive behavior like hitting others. This can be aimed at toys, but also other children or you. 

For example, if your child has to do something or is not allowed to do something, the stubbornness phase also plays a role in a 3-year-old child. They would like to determine everything themselves, and that is by no means always possible. Make a proper set of rules and discipline that forbids him/her to hit anyone.

Address the Source of the Aggressiveness

A child is never just aggressive. The behavior always comes from somewhere. Aggression can arise from, for example, frustration, powerlessness, insecurity, or fear. If your child is aggressive, pay close attention to what could be going on.

Maybe your child is frustrated that something is not working out, insecure, or actually very scared. Or does your child need attention from you?

The environment and situation can also play a role. You need to understand that and address that reason. For example, is your child tired, hungry, or over-stimulated? Trying to find out where the behavior is coming from can help you respond to your child’s underlying need. You can then stop the aggressive behavior more efficiently and help your child better. 

Is your child trying to reach out to you?

Young children can also sometimes use aggression to reach out. They like to play together or ‘belong.’ Because they do not yet have many social skills and do not know how to deal with this, they can, for example, take a toy, hit, or bite.

Understand your child well

First of all, it is good to realize that your child does not mean it wrong. A child is aggressive out of impotence. Your child does not yet have enough skills to express himself in any other way, causing him to hit, bite or push.

Even if your child does not mean wrong, it is essential to teach your child that hitting or biting is not allowed. So indicate clear boundaries. Also, teach your child what he or she can do instead of pushing, hitting, or kicking.

Don’t be aggressive as a reply to the aggressive attitude of your child

Try to avoid aggressive behavior on the side. If you see it coming, get ahead of the behavior. Go to your child, pay attention, and tell him how to express himself or resolve a situation without hitting.

If the game between your children is getting busier, intervene before things go ‘wrong.’ Get involved or help to bring more peace into the game.

Correct the child without getting angry

Correct your child in a short, clear, but calm way. So without getting angry. Go to your child, make contact by kneeling, making eye contact, or tapping your child and indicate the boundary: “We don’t hit, that hurts” or “Biting is not allowed, that hurts.” Express your child’s need or feeling. What does your child want or feel? For example:

“You want to play with this” or “You are disappointed that …” or “You are angry because …. ….”

Then state what you expect from your child. What is he or she allowed to do instead of the aggressive behavior? How can he or she express his or her emotions? “Ask if you can use that toy” or “Just say stop, if you don’t like it anymore” or “Come to me if you get angry and I can help you.” Instead of “don’t hit,” say what your child can do.

Keep child’s behavior under observation.

Sometimes the aggressive behavior seems to come out of nowhere, but often something precedes it. If you notice this, you can often prevent aggressive behavior. Take a good look at your child: what exactly is he or she doing? What precedes it? What is the reason for the aggressive behavior?

What does your child need? If this is difficult to detect, keep it for a while and write it down. Also, look carefully at the exceptions. When are things going well? What does your child do then? And what do you do then? What is the best way to stop the aggressive behavior?

Stay calm and let your calmness spread over your child

As difficult as this may be, try to control your own emotions. You are the example for your child. When you hit back, you set the example for your child to hit.

Children learn a lot from the behavior they see in others. Aggression induces aggression. So if you yell or hit, there is a good chance that your child will react aggressively again.

Acknowledge the feelings of your child

Make time and space for your child’s underlying feelings because a child always has a good reason for his behavior. Is your child angry? Afraid of something? Or actually very sad?

Name these feelings and let your child feel that you understand and want to help them. Children who feel seen and heard are less likely to display aggressive behavior.

Respond clearly and consistently to Your child’s queries

Try to respond to your child in the same way, every time. Briefly state that the behavior is not allowed and then allow space for the feelings and needs of your child.

Help your child. If more educators are involved, try to all use the same approach. This is very clear and, therefore, very safe for your child.

Let your child learn proper social behavior from you.

Social behavior is something children learn from adults. A young child cannot empathize with the other and is not yet able to express his emotions calmly. See it as a skill that your child has yet to learn and for which it needs your help. Learning social behavior takes time.

So teach your child what it can do to communicate its needs in ways other than aggression, such as asking, explaining, asking you for help, saying how it feels, coming up with a solution, etc.

Don’t ask a why question to your child. Ask the reason

Parents often ask their children this question: “Why are you doing that?” But this question is far too complicated for a young child. Your child often does not know an answer and will therefore not say anything, shrug, or become even angrier. The word ‘why’ hides a conviction that will make your child feel rejected by this question. So name yourself what you think is behind the behavior instead of asking.

If you want to talk to your child at a quiet moment and your child is already a little older, use questions such as:

“What is going on?” “How could this happen?” “What made you so angry?”

“You must have been very angry, even so, angry that you no longer knew how to solve it properly. Is that right?” “What can you do differently next time?”

Don’t force your child to say sorry

A child of 2, 3, or 4 years old is still too young to understand the concept of ‘saying sorry.’ By forcing them to say this anyway, you teach them something wrong. What can you make your child say instead of sorry? 

Initiate positive contact with your child

Make sure you have enough moments of positive contact with your child in one day. Pleasantly give your child attention. Sometimes your child with aggressive behavior wants to tell you that they need more communication and time with you.

If he then bites or hits, your child can be sure that he has your attention for a while. This behavior can sometimes also arise from jealousy towards, for example, a brother or sister. Make sure your child has enough positive one-on-one moments with you.

Important Things to Know

First, read something about ADHD! You can already find a lot of information in the library or on the internet. It is vital that your child must have more complaints than a child of the same age or development and that he (or you) is suffering from his behavior or problems. As a parent, you know your child best. Parents often turn out to be correct. 

Your child will eventually become unhappy about this and may develop a form of fear of failure, which often prevents him from reaching the level of learning he belongs to. It is not good to walk on for a long time with dormant anxiety. 

Who do I look for help from?

Go to your doctor first, preferably armed with some knowledge about ADHD. The doctor can help you on your way to the proper care provider: if there is a difficult child but not clearly malfunctioning, he may refer you to the Courses that are sometimes offered here to learn how to better deal with your child. If these advices do not help, you have to raise the alarm yourself again! 

What else could be going on?

About 70% of people with ADHD (adults and children) suffer to a greater or lesser extent from an additional condition.

This does not have to be a bad thing, but it is good to know that several factors interfere with functioning, even if the ADHD is treated well. The general rule is: the more you know, the better you or your child can be treated.

How to get over ADHD?

Yes, you can. Most children grow ‘over it’ and can later participate generally in society without further treatment. They only need a few years of therapy and can then stop the medication. There is also a group of about 30% of the children who have more serious symptoms; they still suffer from them in adulthood ADHD.

The extent to which they suffer from their disorder depends, among other things, on the profession they practice and whether or not they have a partner.

After all, a profession that does not ‘suit’ the patient or a partner who is not stable himself also causes the necessary unrest. Some of them benefit greatly from guidance and medication and can still function well with the proper treatment.

What can the school do?

You can discuss your child’s strengths and weaknesses with the school and the strategy of rewarding (and correcting). Positive reinforcement of good behavior or finished work is significant. The teacher should help your child get a quiet place in the classroom and stimulate your child by offering and coaching exciting and varied material.

Also, agree on how you will keep each other informed of the progress and any problems. This can be done with a ‘back and forth’ notebook. If necessary, your child should be offered further examination,

for example, if there is a learning disability such as dyslexia, which often occurs together with Prevents ADHD. Make a care plan together with the teacher.

Verdict

Be sure to listen to yourself: if you feel that something is wrong, and then seek help. For example, your child may be pretty busy, but if this disturbs him to such an extent that he is constantly punished or that he has no friends, it is ‘not functioning properly. 

Anyone can make a mistake or do not have sufficient knowledge to make the correct diagnosis. Even if there could be you start with ADHD with the Youth Care: a start is made here with the diagnosis; sometimes referral to a pediatrician is necessary. The sooner your child is treated, the better.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if my kid becomes hyper?

In case your kid becomes hyper, you will have to understand what is the main reason. For that it is better that you talk to your kid in a civilized manner to understand the root choice.

Will behavior therapy be proper if my kid hits frequently?

Yes, the behavior therapy is a good option in this case. There are specialists who can go to the bottom of the matter and find out what makes your kid hyperactive and virulent at times.

How can I drain out excess energy of my kid?

When it comes to draining the excess energy of your kid, making them play outdoor, engaging them into athletic activities will be a great way.

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