Mom-In-Training: When Your Child Hits Another Child

I went to pick up Ni from daycare yesterday and one of the assistants there notified me that Ni had slapped another child. I was quite disturbed to hear this because I am so against violence in the home or outside. I’m not sure where she could have picked up such behavior from. Maybe another child at the daycare had hit her and she picked it up from him/her? Maybe she saw something on television? Highly unlikely,  because I try to avoid watching anything violent when she’s around.

When she does something wrong, I bring her near me, tell her that is wrong or bad or not good to do it and if she continues after that, I’ll hold her hand and tap it, saying Ni, that is not a very nice thing to do. She is associating my tapping her with hitting and in return hitting other children when they do something she thinks is wrong?

After hearing that news from the assistant, I went home and couldn’t stop wondering, if I had taught my child to hit other people. So, after I got over the stress-factor, I started searching the web for ways on how I could prevent her from using violence to express her frustration and rectify this situation. I came across a blog post on Psychology Today that talks about preventive measures you can take to stop your child from hitting other kids.

I don’t fully agree with all the suggestions on this blog post, but some of them were worth noting:

  • Accept the feelings your child is portraying with an open mind
  • Set firm and clear consequences and limits for actions
  • Normalize your own emotions to show respect and so you don’t over react

You can read the post HERE.

When I was growing up, if you did something wrong, you’d automatically get a punishment (slap or worst). But you wouldn’t really get a talking-to. Whether that was the right way to discipline a child, I’m not sure. All I know is I hated my father and brother for hitting me. I don’t even remember most of the reasons why they would hit me. All I remember is that they hit me. Because of their abuse, I acted out more, I became stubborn and stopped caring. I had a hatred for them for a long time. It’s probably one of the reasons why I haven’t spoken to my older brother in over 7 years and don’t get along with my father as much as I would like.

Violence is not the  way to handle things, in any situation! Parents violent against their children pretty much raise a violent child, a child with low confidence and so many other emotional issues. In return, the child ends up hating their parent, going against them even more and somewhere along the road acts violently or destructively as well.

After much research and thought, I’ve decided to talk to Ni every time she raises her hand to hit someone else or herself. Since the incidence, when I notice she’s becoming violent or frustrated, I pull her close to me, I tell her that it’s okay to be upset, but raising her hand to hit someone is a bad thing. She’s only 18 months right now, so I’ m not sure if she understands fully, but it does seem to be calming her down and/or distracting her away from her frustrations.

I think I’m on the right path. What are some ways that you’ve disciplined your children? How have you dealt with your child becoming violent or frustrated? Please share your insights and suggestions with me. I’m still a mom-in-training and just trying to figure things out.

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