Posts Tagged ‘Signing’

One way to foster independence and personal power, while maintaining limits, is to offer your toddler specific choices whenever possible. Begin as soon as your child can indicate their selection to you, either by pointing, signing or speaking. Most children are ready to participate meaningfully in choice making by 10 or 11 months old.

There are certain times when providing choices can be especially helpful to you. It can ease the transition from one activity to the next, for instance. (“Do you want to carry your hat or your snack to the car?”). Choices can also help provide structure in an overwhelming environment like a large playground.

Finally, think back to your past power struggles over nap time, diaper changing or getting in the car seat. With a little forethought, you might avoid conflict next time by offering your child a choice.

Take a look at a child’s input.

Child's Input

The blue one, please.


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

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!