Archive for the ‘Hitting’ Category

If you do need to get involved, your job is not to decide who is right and who is wrong. You are just simply a mediator. Start the conversation by stating what you have seen or heard. “You seem to be having trouble deciding who gets to wear the fancy dress up shoes.” Have each child tell their side of the story without shouting or hurling insults. Just to make sure they are listening to each other, have them repeat what the other has said. Then you can ask the million dollar question, “What can we do to solve this?” Let each child share their ideas. Try one of the proposed solutions, no matter how crazy it sounds. “OK, we can give the shoes a time-out in the freezer.” If they do need further direction, offer them some suggestions. “Each of you could wear the shoes for 10 minutes, we will set the timer to keep track.” Keep reminding yourself that your kids are practicing the art of conflict resolution. They are expressing themselves calmly, listening, validating other perspectives, and coming to an agreement. This approach requires time, energy, and great patience, but the payoff is well worth it. Doing it every time they fight is difficult. But if you adopt this strategy a few times, they will pick up on it.  And eventually, they will learn to resolve disagreements without you, which is the whole point of being a parent. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Charging into a battle zone and yelling, “Stop it right now!” might shock your kids into silence, but it will not prevent them from resuming their confrontation as soon as you leave the room. I know, I have done it myself on more than one occasion. Sure, it is hard to listen to your kids fight and difficult to manage your anger. Both at them and at yourself for not being able to keep the peace. Now consider counting to ten before you storm the room. I stop and look at the pictures hanging in the hallway. My serenity restoring trick is a sign I wrote on a piece of notebook paper and taped it to the refrigerator. It says, “Five deep breaths.” Every time I look at it, I follow these directions. It really is a big help. See tips on staying out of it. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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When your kids are in the middle of a quarrel, check in to make sure it is not becoming physical or emotionally heated. Then let them know you would like them to resolve the conflict on their own (but that you are happy to help out if it becomes necessary). I find myself doing this on a few occasions. Especially when it comes to the XBoxOne. You should always intervene if one of your kids is being verbally abusive (“You are a stupid idiot and everyone hates you”). Another reason you should step in is if one is destroying the others cherished possessions. If they are hitting or biting is another cause for you to jump in. Children who taunt, insult, slap, or push their siblings can do as much mental and physical damage as any playground bully.  Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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There are a lot of sibling conflicts that occur because younger children do not know the proper way to express what is bothering them. That is why toddlers resort to biting and hitting and older children impulsively spout statements that they don’t truly mean. (“I hate you.”) This can easily turn a minor disagreement into a huge battle. The more words that a child has to describe their feelings, the more likely they are to stay calm. So if his little sister comes by and knocks over his block tower, he can tell you, “I am angry that she ruined my project” instead of just yelling or hitting her. It is important to talk about emotions beyond happy, sad, and angry. Expressing how you feel out loud, whether it is annoyed, disappointed, or confused will teach your kids new words to express what they are feeling. This is a significant step in learning how to manage emotions.

Rather than waiting for your kids to be upset to have a discussion, take advantage of some teachable moments. When we are at the park and see other children freaking out, I always ask my boys, “What do you think she is feeling right now?” When they default to saying mad or sad, I fill in the blanks. “If my sand shovel broke, I would be pretty frustrated, wouldn’t you?”

Check out another post that ties in nicely to this one on getting along. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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I am very frustrated right now.

Let your child learn their lessons from natural consequences of their own actions. You can prevent many power struggles without being the bad guy.

When I was a child the word “discipline” meant that I was getting one of my favorite things taken away by my parents for misbehaving. If I hit my brother, NO TV for a week. If I did not do my chores, NO trip to the mall. Not only was this the method in my house, but in the home of everyone else I knew. This classic approach of discipline can make kids cooperate in the short term, it is not the best way to teach life long lessons. Kids do not learn when they are feeling threatened. Your child may go along with your demands because they are afraid of what will happen if they do not, rather than because they have grasped anything about right and wrong.

Let your kids experience the natural consequences of their actions. If your child does not wear a jacket, let them be cold. The next time you probably will not have to fight over it. Logical consequences entail more adult involvement, but they are also connected to the misbehavior. If your child runs out in the middle of the street, then they must hold your hand for the rest of the walk. It is this connection that helps a child understand and learn from their actions.

Sounds real easy, right? Not so fast. I thought so too. That is until my kids did something that did not seem to have natural consequences. What is the outcome of having to nag your child 30 times in order for them to do their chores? Or the refusal to wear nothing but a birthday suit to daycare on a hot day? They can not do the trick every time, but they do work in more situations than you realize. In our next post we will cover tips for getting better behavior now and in the future. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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React Quickly. Calmly remove them from the situation immediately, saying “I can not let you hurt your friends” or “Gentle hands only.” This helps them learn that hitting does not solve problems.

Use Your Words. Model how to ask and then wait for a turn. Encourage your child to “use their words” rather than physical force.

Offer Independence. Let your child choose their own clothes or decide where to go first at the park. Giving them this freedom can diminish their need to exert control in other situations.

Try Signing. Research shows children communicate sooner and more effectively with signs than with words. Learn a few common signs such as “stop.” Check out resources at SigningSmart.com

Here you can also take a look at tips for biting. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your friends. Remember to always praise your child.

Kids Hitting

That is Mine!

It is part of normal toddler aggression, as is hitting and scratching.

The bloodcurdling scream of a child who has just been bitten by another gets our attention in a hurry. It feels so disturbing. Animalistic, even.

Toddler aggression comes in many forms: the 1-year-old chomping down on a new friend they just met at the park, an 18-month-old scratching their best buddy in the sandbox, a 2-year-old hitting their sister in the playroom. These acts, while seemingly cruel, are rarely rooted in a desire to inflict harm purely for harms sake. In fact, they are normal and often a sign of social and cognitive developments.

The issue typically begins after age 1. They not only start to notice other children as peers to play alongside, they see them as obstacles to getting what they want. They will seek more independence and spend more time experimenting with way to assert themselves and get their needs met.

When these advancements outpace their limited language skills, they are unable to verbalize their desires or get the results they are seeking. It is no surprise, then, that so many 1 and 2-year-old kids interact with peers through physical means. For example, your child will notice another child playing with the truck they want. They will try to assert their desire by first stating, “Mine,” and then grabbing for the toy. If that does not work, they may next resort to biting or pushing.

Sometimes aggression goes too far; if your child is hitting most of the time, if other children are afraid of them or if you have not been able to help them make changes to their behavior, talk to your pediatrician. The doctor might recommend a child psychologist who can help you work through it. But keep in mind that your child will likely outgrow their aggressive tendencies.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your friends. Remember to always praise your child.

What Is With The Biting

Bloodcurdling Scream