If Your Child Hits You, Calm The Situation With These 9 Steps

Last updated by Katie M.

From the age of 17 months old, children can experience violent episodes. Now, adjusting to the realities of life with their parents can be challenging for them and can even provoke surprising reactions in some of them. Kids often get frustrated by limits and then try to test us. Since they don't have the words or vocabulary to express themselves, their emotions are difficult to control and can translate into angry outbursts. It's then up to us to help them get through this phase, while remaining firm. Here are 9 tips from a mom who's been on this journey to correcting her son's behavior.


9 tips for dealing effectively with a violent child  

How to get your potentially aggressive kid back on track...

1. React quickly

Our little monsters need to be able to quickly channel their disruptive energy, before turning into a conflicted teenager, or a violent adult. All children need limits to develop, so it's primordial to accept the unacceptable. Results aren't immediate, and our reactions might make them angrier, but the most important point here is not to panic. The consistency of your interventions will pay off in the long run.

2. Explain why this behavior is unacceptable

Concretely, after the outburst has begun, it's essential to crouch down to your child's height, whilst looking them in the eyes. Here, you must firmly and calmly express your disagreement. Short sentences such as "In our family, we don't hit. ", "Stop! It hurts."or "You have a right to be angry, but I'm not going to let you hurt me." Will hit the nail on the head. The shorter your sentences, the easier it is to get your message across.

> Discover my open letter to my kids

Note: You are your child's first role model...

Smack child

If your little bundle of joy hits someone else, don't hit it back. Doing so will only confuse them. If you don't want them to hit you, don't hit them back.

> Find out how to reduce stress in children here

3. Lay down the rules

Your intonation, gaze and the gestures you use have to be consistent so that your little boxer understands that it is neither a game nor a wish, but an imperative. The rules have to be clear, so your angel doesn't feel unjustly punished.

4. Don't back down

To your child, you represent physical and psychological security. You must never be shaken by their actions. By imposing limits, by showing a solid framework, you make them feel secure and put them back on the right path.

5. Isolate your child  

If your little terror keeps hitting you, you must calmly tell him that you need to be in separate rooms to calm down. Remember, you're isolating your child because you want them to calm down. When the tranquility has returned, you must explain your actions and what you now expect to happen going forward.

6. Try to understand the root causes

If, despite everything, your child tries to follow you, it’s likely because he wants some attention but doesn’t know how to express it. Taking them tenderly and firmly in your  arms or giving them a big hug may be the solution. Even if they resist at first, never give up. This is a very effective calming technique.

> Did you know that? Cuddles have amazing powers.

7. Follow through with your actions

Leaving your kid’s side after saying "no, we don't hit" would have no impact. To back up what you say, you must stay with your child for a minute, crouch to their level and take their hands. Holding them is important: they are not trapped, but held so that their frustration and agitation can diminish.

8. Once calm is restored; ask them to express themselves.

Even if toddlers are not professional talkers, tell them how you felt and ask them too. Suggest another expression: "I think you were angry because..., but I won’t stand for you hitting. You can tell me what you want in words."

I'm a woman who doesn't want kids; so what?

9. And if they manage to control their emotions...

Congratulate them!

Parent and child

The editor's opinion - Parents don't have to accept everything

Even if they're still newborns, you have to show you disagree from the very first attempt, or else the situation will get out of hand as they grow older. "As soon as a child attacks our bodies-whether it's by pulling our hair, biting our breasts while breast-feeding or giving us a pat on the head-we have to set limits," warns child psychiatrist Michael Larrar.

A child who slaps feels frustrated, sometimes harmless. Jealousy, demand for attention... Generally speaking, violence is a fantasy of power that is activated when an individual is anxious or feels in trouble. Hence, the importance of reducing stress in children before they become aggressive to reassure themselves.

Parenting requires staying firm on educational issues, while listening to what you have to say. Help your child put words to his emotions to better express them. If the problem comes from an intense need to exercise, physical activity would do him good. And if all this effort doesn't pay off, a couple of visits to a specialist can help to unblock the situation.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!


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Article presented by Katie M.

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