Hitting - help needed!

How does everyone deal with hitting?? My three year old has taken to hitting her sibling and me when she disagrees with something or wants the same toy or is told no. I’ve tried the main strategies ie diverting, being firm and setting a clear boundary and I’ve even ended up shouting but we seem to be stuck in a viscious cycle so any advice is very much appreciated!!

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Not sure if I have any useful advice but sending you a big hug in solidarity. I’ve had this a bit with my 5 year old in the past and all I found that worked was repeating “we do not hit” but not saying anything more than that simple sentence and physically moving his hands (or myself) away and then in calmer moments talking it through with him. I often take the opportunity when we are sat colouring to raise the tricky topics with him as it’s less direct and seems to go better if that makes sense?

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How about trying a reward chart? Might be worth a go. We’ve had some success in the past with reward charts. Maybe you could try a sticker for every morning and afternoon that she doesn’t hit? Or a smiley face for playing nicely and a sad face if she hits and then at the end of the day if there are more smiley faces than sad faces she gets a sticker and at the weekend a reward if more than 4 stickers. Maybe that’s too complicated and you could come up with something simpler? :joy:. Let us know how you go. I had real issues when ours was 2 at nursery hitting others. She’s older now and we don’t have the problem. Wish I could tell you what I did that helped but I’m honestly not sure! :kissing_heart:

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These are great suggestions. @TiredMum hopefully that gives you a few new ideas to try?

Welcome to the Community @StressedMum, it’s great to have you here :yellow_heart:

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Thanks @singlemumof1 @StressedMum, really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Really like the idea of talking it through calmly whilst we sit and colour - she loves colouring just now. I think I do need to do a reward chart you know, I reckon she’s old enough to understand it now. I actually saw something about a marble jar and once it’s full, she can choose a toy from the shop. It’s worth a go for sure!!

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I find reward charts are very hit and miss depending on the child - two of mine love them but one of my boys really doesn’t respond to them.

Hitting is so tricky. The only thing that worked with my twins was constantly repeating the boundary and remaining firm. Easier said than done, I know.

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Agree with @LondonParent - reward charts can work but equally can just be a lot of effort for nothing.

@TiredMum marble jar sounds a good idea. I think the trick is making sure it’s not too big so takes a year to fill up :joy:

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Our marble jar is pretty large for this very reason :rofl:

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Really appreciate the advice everyone, loving this community so far! Sometimes I just get so stuck in knowing what to do so it’s great to know I have you all in my phone when I need :laughing:

We are going to go ahead with the marble jar and I’ve clearly explained the expectations and that if she has a day with no hitting, then we can put a marble in the jar. Fingers crossed!

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:rofl: :joy: :rofl: love that @singlemumof1

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Let us know how you go @TiredMum. Good luck xx

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Sorry to hear you are going through this TiredMum It sounds as if you are doing a good job at being consistent reinforcing the boundary. I agree that a reward chart would work well too. Be sure to also look out for any time you see your daughter being kind, sharing, and using ‘kind hands’ to hug or something and heap on the praise!

Alongside using rewards and praise you could also try using the Time-Out strategy. This is a useful tool for aggressive behaviour such as hitting. Time-Out will remove your child from the situation and give her the chance to calm down and reflect. If you don’t use this technique already it can take a little bit of time to enforce, but it will work. The trick is to ensure your child understands what Time-Out is and what behaviour they go to Time-Out for. It helps to have a few practices / role-plays beforehand. The LIMITS section, TEMPER – WHAT CONSEQUENCES TO USE will take you through how to set this up effectively.

Good luck! Let us all know how you are getting on.

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Thanks so much @Parent_Coach_Mel, I haven’t actually used the time out strategy. Will go take a look at that bit of the course and see how I get on, I’ll take all the advice I can get to be honest!

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