My 27 month old daughter seemingly just likes hitting other children.
For example, on Saturday we were walking up some stairs at a store, and another small child was walking down with her parents. H suddenly stuck her hand through the railing separating the two sides of the staircase and starting trying to smack the other girl's head. When I pulled her away she started saying "I want to hit her" -- luckily the other parents didn't understand what H was saying, so we were spared some mortification.
My husband is home with her during the day, we don't hit her: I'm flummoxed as to where she gets this behaviour. Nor can we identify any motivation or emotional reaction underlying it. She has spontaneously run across the yard to hit the neighbour's little boy when he was playing well away from her and not with any of her toys. She walks up to kids at the playground and babies in prams or in arms and hits them before any other interaction has happened.
We've modeled gentle touch a lot without much impact and she's not violent towards us -- the only time she has hit me or her Dad has been accidental when waving toys about or having a tantrum (which is relatively rare). She does sometimes throw toys around, but that is always in response to some clearly identifiable trigger: anger, disappointment, frustration, hunger, tiredness.
Searching older threads on hitting it seems like there is a lot of good advice that I would understand how to apply if she was hitting other kids when frustrated, tired, angry, etc. But I have no clue how to avoid situations triggering the behaviour or redirect her to other behaviours instead when I don't understand what might be triggering it at all. Well, you know, short of never letting her be around any other children, which seems somewhat drastic.
Does any one have any experience dealing with a child who just seems to want to hit other children for no particular reason?