how/why does a child not exposed to violence hit? What to do when dc does hit? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-06-2007, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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We were at a playdate the other day and my dd just hit another little girl
She also hit her sister (who is disabled) the other day. Dd is almost 17 months old.

I am confused... I have always been very gentle with her and she has (obviously!) never been hit or seen hitting or violence, with the possible exception of her sisters sponge bob on tv

So I am at a loss. I dont know why she is hitting, and I dont know how to stop it. What do you do when your child this young starts hitting? How do you handle the situation?

I could really use any/all advise. Thanks!

Proud mom of three!  Special needs teen princess wheelchair.gif , 7 year old happy girl modifiedartist.gif , and my flower toddlerhearts.gif

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#2 of 7 Old 04-06-2007, 02:05 PM
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Little kids don't need to see violence to learn to hit! It's a natural way to express frustration when you aren't very verbal and don't have much impulse control. It's hard to be a toddler and they don't have a big repertoire of coping strategies.

At this age, just redirect, and intervene if you can if it looks like she's likely to hit so other kids don't get hurt. Model "gentle touch" (if she's hitting when she gets excited) and try to verbalize how she's feeling (if she's hitting when she's mad or frustrated) -- "You didn't like it when Megan took your block! You wanted that block! If you give Megan another block, maybe she will trade you. But it hurts Megan to be hit." and then make a big fuss over poor Megan.

This is all pretty standard stuff -- a good book on toddlers will have lots of strategies.
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#3 of 7 Old 04-06-2007, 02:07 PM
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I don't know. My DS 2 watches TV all the time and he even watches some "violent" movies (The Incredibles, Spongebob) and because of this I have been able to relegate hitting into the fantasy category. People cannot fly, and People cannot hit one another.
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#4 of 7 Old 04-06-2007, 02:18 PM
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I think it's very normal. Many kids go through hitting phases and I think Thalia gave a good explanation of why.

Some kids seem to hit more than others. Some never really do it. But I think most go through some kind of phase like that.

Redirect, reinforce that hitting hurts, and don't blame yourself. This too shall pass, yk?

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#5 of 7 Old 04-06-2007, 02:30 PM
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From my expereince all toddlers HIT adn all toddlers BITE,

It may be wrose if they are around other kids who do so -- cuz they see the benfit (gettign toy -- it doesn't sink in that the child then get the toy taken away)........or they see a reaction (and Tots have a hard time with a neg reation vs a pos reaction.......DS will poke a little playmate to make her squeal, not a pos reaction, but he thinks it is funny)

But all tots bite and hit.

Hiting is "fustration = agreesion" it is very primal -- watch your own reaction next this DH RAELLY pushes your buttoms and won't stop -- NO you don't hit him, you ahve learned, but there will be a deep down little flash of "ugh"

Biteing is part fustration, or can be, but it is also "gee look what i can if i cantch momma off gaurd and get a tow, she she jumps and that is funny" no concept that they are hurting you, and no malice. they can learn to bite (or hit) with malice but the behavior is jsut there. Devlopmentally.

DS bit me -- no malice, no clue i think what he was doing, while hang on my shoulder -- he has NEVER seen anyone at play groups or church bite.....


they don't have to be learned behaviors - the issue comes if they learn that the behvaiors can be effect for them.


Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#6 of 7 Old 04-06-2007, 05:15 PM
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I don't mean to laugh but... .

I remember being distressed about the same thing. At about 20 months, my ds had a brief phase where he was grabbing his little friends by the front of the shirt and slamming them to the ground. I am home with him 100% of the time- no daycare, no sitters. Our home is a happy, safe place with no violence. We are tv-free (none at all!). We always have supervised playdates and hitting was never an issue and if any toddler activies seemed too agressive, they were gently guided to other things. Why was my son becoming a monster?!?!?

Apparently, that's just what happens. They are learning about relationships, their own power, consequences of their actions, etc. They have low frustration tolerance and are not developmentally able to empathize or fully understand that their actions can cause pain.

Toddlers don't learn to hit, they learn NOT to hit...

Address it- teach her better ways of coping. But know that it is just part of the toddler fare...

PS- a friend who lives way out on a remote ranch and who didn't have any friends for his little girl took her to a playdate at our house. My son gave her a good thump to the head. I apologized, talked to my son, he apologized and we talked about that not being acceptable, then I moved on. My son usually doesn't hit and it was not a reoccuring event. However, my friend, Dave, was clearly rattled (but good natured, so he wasn't too freaked out!). His daughter exposed to this brute of a toddler!?!? Well, just yesterday, his daughter clobbered my son with a toy screaming "MINE! MINE!" whack whack... with toddler fire in her eyes! I couldn't resist rubbing it in a little bit that they are little "cave people" under all those little shoes and diapers! Even the little blond, curly, pink-ey girls!
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#7 of 7 Old 04-06-2007, 10:34 PM
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When i had dd I thought that only kids who had bad parents hit but someone (ds) wanted to show me how very wrong I could be! He used to bite multiple times per day, he would hit, push other kids. I would always redirect afterwards and explain good touch but it has been slow going. I wasn't until I told him no more playgroup with his friends that he stops and thinks... It takes time and patients.... lots of patients...
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