There are lots of things that children have to learn. Kids must learn to share, to eat their vegetables, and to solve problems on their own. Just like these skills, anger management is also particularly important, as children tend to lash out physically to show their emotions. While throwing a few punches can be a very normal part of growing up, it’s very crucial to address these behaviors early on to rid your child of violent habits. There could be many reasons behind a child hitting other kids, and it’s important to consider all perspectives. Today, we’ll be looking at ten ways to stop your little one from hitting other children.
10 Talk To Them About Their Anger
While anger is a perfectly normal emotion to feel, it’s important to stress the right ways to handle anger and direct your child’s behavior away from physical violence. A great way to start is to validate their emotions, explaining that everyone gets angry sometimes and that there’s nothing wrong with that.
However, make sure you clarify the best way to handle anger. Ask your little one to take a walk outside, close their eyes and take deep breaths, or get a drink of water when they’re angry. Giving your kids plenty of alternatives serves as a much better reminder than yelling “don’t hit your brother!” every time it happens.
9 Set Firm Limits
Secondly, firm anger rules and limits are absolutely necessary right from the start. As a parent, you need to draw a clear line and make sure your child understands that hitting somebody is never the solution. Furthermore, ensure that your little one has certain consequences for hurting people. Time-outs, reprimands, and loss of certain privileges may all serve as good reminders that hitting is absolutely never allowed. When you see them becoming agitated, feel free to remind them of the rules and ask them to calm themselves down. If you stick to firm rules and consequences every time the behavior happens, your child will be much more likely to stop their negative behaviors.
8 Teach Your Child About Self-Control
Whether it’s eating way too many cookies or tackling their older brother, little kids don’t have much self-control. However, it’s never too early to introduce the idea for their own health and benefits later on. Especially on the topic of violence, it’s critically important to enforce self-control with your child. Explain that their actions will hurt their friends, and ask them to stop themselves when they want to hit someone. Offering rhymes and ideas for them to use is great, too. For example, you can ask your child to close their eyes and count to five every time they want to hit someone.
7 Stop Telling Them To Be “Tough”
Especially in boys, “toughness” is often encouraged. While this does help kids with being strong after getting some bumps and bruises, it actually serves to encourage violent behavior as well. Often, little boys feel the need to play rough and throw a few punches to win their parents approval, which shouldn’t be true at all. Instead of telling your little ones to be tough, focus on telling them to be kind.
There’s no reason that a kid can’t be both strong and radiate kindness wherever they go, and it’s a great idea to encourage charisma early on. After all, being polite, considerate, and nice is more important than being “tough”!
6 Never Use Corporal Punishments
While some traditionally-minded parents rely on spankings to discipline their children, it’s very important to consider the effects that corporal punishments will leave on your kid’s mental health. When a child is used to getting spanked, he or she may start to believe that this is the correct way to act towards other children. After all, little kids tend to trust in the actions of their parents. Stick to time-outs, verbal reprimands, and loss of privileges to punish your children. Make sure to stay away from abusing your child emotionally, too. To stop your child from hurting others, you need to first ensure that you’re nurturing them emotionally and physically in the best ways possible!
5 Keep Yourself From Losing Your Temper
Asides from corporal punishment, you should also keep your own anger in check. The best way to teach a kid anger management is to show them how through your actions! Whether it’s a broken plate, a mess on the floor, or any other wrongdoing, practice some deep breathing for yourself and stay calm and collected. It’s also a great idea to explain to your little one that you’re feeling angry, but your voice is calm and you aren’t yelling or hurting anyone. If you can keep your own anger in check, chances are that your kids won’t have a hard time learning at all!
4 Give Them A Constructive Hobby
If breathing or counting backward isn’t helping much, try introducing some calm and fun activities to distract your kids away from their anger. Drawing, reading, or playing an instrument are all great hobbies to unleash emotion without hurting anyone. Who knows, it could even be the start of a lifelong passion!
When you notice your child becoming angry, ask them to do one of the above activities. After several reminders, you’ll likely find that it’ll become a habit for them. Not only will your child have an alternative solution to relieve their anger, but they’ll also have a great learning opportunity!
3 Show Your Kids Your Love.
Often, the bullies and aggressive kids at school aren’t actually mean. They just feel unloved, neglected, or abused, and take it out on other children. If you find that your child is prone to hitting other kids, don’t jump up and start yelling.
In addition to drawing firm boundaries, you need to show them that you have all the love, care, and affection in the world ready for them. The solution could be as simple as a short talk and a long, long hug. Whether your kid is a toddler or a pre-teen, you need to start off on the right foot by showing a whole lot of love!
2 Consider Seeing A Therapist
Sometimes, certain children will simply resist your methods. When you’re at the end of your wits, it may be a good idea to take your little one to see a therapist or psychiatrist. Contrary to the stigmas surrounding the idea, seeking professional help may be the best option to stop your child’s violent behavior. Therapists and psychiatrists are professionally trained to analyze thought patterns and come up with the best possible solution. Just be sure that you’re sending your little one off to a psychiatrist who specializes in children. If you don’t want to make the trip, give your child’s pediatrician a call to see if they’ve got some tricks up their sleeves for you to try.
1 Monitor What Content Your Child Is Seeing
Young children are particularly receptive to mental stimulation, and the content that they are exposed to in their early years can be a profound aspect of what forms their violent behavior. After all, there’s a reason why movies are rated! If you see that your child is prone to hurting others, it’s a good idea to start monitoring what they’re watching on their devices and on television. Often, little kids are simply imitating behaviors that they’ve seen elsewhere. Make sure to review the ratings and ensure that the content is safe for your little ones before allowing them technology time!