How do you punish your toddler for hitting?

What's the best way to punish your toddler for hitting and make sure he doesn't do it again?

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32  Answers

27 16

When my nearly-2 toddler hits, I hold her hands in mine for about a minute, look in her eyes and tell her "Hands are not for hitting! THIS is how we use our hands" and then I let go of her hands, and put my hands on her face and stroke it softly. Then I take her hands and help her stroke my face.

It's actually working for her.... Maybe they just need to be shown what they SHOULD do instead of what NOT to do?

30
0 0

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15 16

Tell him hands are for helping not hitting. Tell him to rather stomp his feet if he's frustrated. It's only fair for little ones to express their frustration and we need to point them into the right direction.

28
0 0

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14 11

I don't care what anybody says. Popping your kid for bad behavior is the best way to correct them. They can't use knives and you do to cut their food ao how is that different?! We have to stop thinking that our kids will repeat our behaviors. They won't! My parents NEVER stopped cursing but I knew if I repeated a word I would get my mouth popped. To this day I don't like cursing and I will never do it in front of my parents. We can't be scared of our kids. We can't let them talk back and do what they want. We gotta stop being underprotective parents. I told my mom one time for popping me that I was going to call dss and she gave me the phone, helped me dial and popped me with the phone. I never did it again. I thank God my parents raised me right. I don't know where I would be if I wasnt brought up with that sting discipline. I always had a 4.0 in school and I graduted college with a 3.8. I'm successful and happy. Thanks to my parents!

18
10 16

I don't believe it is true that kids won't repeat our behaviors. Kids repeat everything! I am not perfect and I have smacked my kids when they misbehave, although admittedly it is when I am weak and frustrated and haven't thought out a more appropriate punishment. The other day my daughter (who is 2) did something wrong, can't remember what now, and my husband spanked her for it. She was so upset, walked around crying, then went back into the kitchen and said "no hitting! We don't hit!" She was so confused. She didn't even realize he was "disciplining" her even though he explained it, she just knew we told her she couldn't hit, but then turned around and did the same thing to her. I realized right then that we have to use a more appropriate punishment. Hitting a kid for hitting someone else just seems laughable, what are they going to learn from that? Spanking may be appropriate in some cases, but it seems pretty pointless in this case. We could take the time to help them get their frustrations out in an appropriate manner, that would teach them a skill they can use.

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0 0

Spanking in no way shape or form is child abuse or saying its ok to hit others......Someone of you seem to have forgotten that each of us have our own parenting style. I spank my son not for everything but when its needed. I do time out or take away toys and games, however thats my style. You stick to your style and let the other mothers stick to theirs. Spanking in no way shape or form is child abuse now if you whoop your kids until you leave a mark well thats a whole other discussion. And btw whomever came up with this theory that spanking a child teaches them.to hit is a joke. I know several different people including my sisters and I who were spanked and it never gave us the notion that it was ok to walk around hitting or hit our parents back. We knew that if we did something wrong its possible we were getting a spanking......That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it you don't like it oh well just respect it and keep it moving

10
15 8

I completely agree with you. I spank my children when it's needed. I don't think spanking them teaches them it's okay to hit each other. My kids are 3,4, and 12 and all of them know the difference between a spanking and hitting. Like you, I don't disrespect my parents although I do curse around my mom and step-dad but not my dad and step-mom. (different ideas of what's respectful between the two families) My kids know that just because I do things does not mean it is okay for them to do them. They understand, in their terms, the line between what is appropriate for their ages and what's not. When they get a spanking it's for a reason, not just because I want to hit them.

4 26

In a firm voice I tell them that you do not hit becuase hitting hurts. I put them in a time out about 2minutes. Then when the time is up I let them know why I put them in a time out. example..you are in a time out because you hit your sister, that hurt her and was not very nice. I ask her would she like it if her sister hit her and she usually will say "no". I tell her she needs to say sorry to her sister for hitting her, I walk her over to her sister and she would say sorry and give her a hug or a kiss. I tell my kids that they need to use their words if they want something or if they are upset. You just need to keep repeating the same thing over and over. It is a learning process for children and sometimes it is easier to hit to get what they want rather then express it with words. When they are younger and just learning to talk they feel it is an easier way of getting what they want not understanding that they are hurting someone in the process. I have thre girls 4years old 2years old and 10 months old. We have one timeout place in the house that is consistant which is the bottom of the steps on the main floor. The bedroom should never be an option as this is a place where they sleep and should feel that is a comforting place.

10
1 14

If a child is hitting because they don't know how to express their feelings. To me, it makes since to use the moment to teach them what words to use the next time they encounter a similar situation. What I do when my child hits another is I tell him/her I don't like hitting please use your words" then they are given an example(age appropriate ) of words they can use. "You didn't like when he sat so close to you? Say I need space please"

6
0 17

i ask her if she would like mummy to do it to her. she say's NO. i ask her why and explain that its because it hurts. its a no no and it makes mummy very sad.

6
114 1

Kids usually hit out of frustration. I used a simple trick...if you can't control your hands you must sit on them to control them. It's obvious, very clear and to the point. It's never too early to start teaching them self control.

4
3 0

spanking your children for hurting others, with their hands or words, is something that may be necessary. we tried time outs for a long time, and got nowhere with it. children have to learn that they ARE NOT ADULTS! and that there are some things that mommy and daddy do that they do not, because they are children and we are not. hurting someone else is the worst offense a child can commit in my opinion, and it deserves the strongest punishment. they need to learn that when they hurt someone else, they too are going to experience pain. it shows them what they're doing to someone else when they hit, and it also shows them that mommy and daddy will correct them, instead of talking about it until we're blue in the face.

3
15 8

My kids don't cooperate with time outs. I can't always sit there and repeatedly put them back. I know I do a lot of things wrong with my children, but as a result I am paying for it with their bad and unruley behavior. I do know, however, that spanking gets my point across the first time I do it versus spending an hour fussing with time outs that result in both of us forgetting the original reason for it. You are so right when you say they can not do certain things because they are children.

2 2

I thought that you were not suppose to use children's bed as a punishment?

3
0 13

with my son, my husband and i will both tell him no, that is not nice. and he was to sit down on the couch for two and a half minutes with no tv or toys and has to keep silent. he is very good knowing what time out is and that if he has to sit there he did something that is not to be done again.

3
0 7

I have a 3 year old son, and he is a very active, loud and very smart child. A spank on the butt or on the hands always worked for his older sister, but for him, spanking has not worked, it means nothing to him, just that mommy hits him, so that means hitting is okay...every child is different, there are certainly children out there that DO need to be spanked for their bad behaviour. In my case though, having a time out in a corner and having his toys taken away from him seems much more effective for my son to understand that hitting is not acceptable.

2
0 19

I totally agree with the comment that children need to understand that they are not adults. Our children will always experience hitting, biting and pinching. His/her peers will do all the above at many stages in his/her life. He/she needs to understand that just because other people do it, that doesnt mean he/she can. Adults will swear, some parents choose to spank their children. Each to their own. Every child is different as well, it should be a trial and error practice. Do what works for you and your child. If you choose to spank your child for hitting you, or others, then that is your choice and your right. (don't go jump on the abuse card now, because that is not what i mean at all.) And If you choose time-out, and that is what works for your child, then so be it. Freedom of choice i say, no judgement from other parents!

2
11 47

When my toddler hits another person, I pick him up and wait for him to calm down in my arms. Once he is settled, we talk about what happened, how it happened and that I expect him to be kind at all times. Because my little boy talks well, we have started to focus on understanding emotions...so rather than kick or hit...I advise him to tell the person who is upsetting him how he feels and that sometimes walking away or coming to mum for attention are much kinder than hurting another person.

2
10 8

I put my kids in the corner (age=amount of mins.) When their time is up they can come out but, have to tell me why I put them in the corner. They also have to tell the person they hit sorry and give them a hug and a kiss.( Normally it is their sisters they hit)

2
1 22

People need to quit saying "I thought you were or weren't supposed to" or "You shouldn't do.." It is really not anyone's place to tell someone else how to parent their children. I firmly believe in discipline and spanking. Both of my children know what is going to happen if they do something wrong. It is not and will never be abuse. I agree with Willmarie Davila, we can't be scared of our children. We need to discipline them and teach them to make good decisions and choices, be well mannered, as well as teach them who the boss is. Everyone has their own way of parenting and disciplining their children, some may agree or disagree, but its never the wrong way. If it is not a good choice of parenting style, the parents will learn that sooner rather than later...like when their child becomes a teenager and helping them get their frustrations out in an appropriate manner or helping them with their words is no longer working out for them (and this is just me disagreeing with that parenting style, not judging anyone). Spanking is not hitting and should never be referred to as hitting..a spanking is a spanking..it comes from love and caring. That is what my father always told me every time I would get mad about getting a spanking. I never knew what he meant (and it always made me more mad when he told me that) until I became a mother and knew what it was like to see your child make a wrong decision or want them to become the best they can be in life. He told me that because he felt bad about hurting my feelings (not hurting me physically) and wanted me to know why he did that. I hate when I hear someone say that spanking is abuse..it drives me insane (just my opinion). This world needs more spankings, apparently, and maybe then there wouldn't be so many gangs and crimes and more people doing good for the world and being a productive citizen. Children these days are out of control and it is because of a lack of discipline. It all terrifies me for my children when they grow up and when I think what life will be like for them when they're older, in school and in general.

A toddler will most likely always do something one, two, or three times after they've been told not to. Its a test to see how far they can push you and what they can get away with. It may not be the best way in some people's opinions but in my opinion, a firm voice, a spanking, and consistency is MY best way of punishing. Followed by making him/her say they are sorry for what they have done and talking to them about why they were punished and that it is not okay. If they say "we don't hit, No hitting!" In my book that would be 'back talk' and a pop on the mouth. Not confusion, a toddler from very early can and does understand when they are in trouble...anything other than that is a test just to see if that will help not get a spanking again. Its all about identifying when they are really confused or just testing you and being consistent. If you don't agree, we can just agree to disagree. I didn't want to get on here to argue, just to state my opinion and views on parenting.

1
0 0

I would have to agree with you. I, too, was raised by parents that spanked me, & I'm pretty sure my two older brothers had their share of spankings. I've got three boys,10yrs, 6yrs, & 2yrs. I only had my 10 yr old for the first 4 yrs of his life and gave my 6 yr old up for adoption when he was a baby. Now my 2yr old is not only twice the size that my 10yr old was at 2yrs, but is three times as bad as him. By this I mean that he doesn't listen to me what-so-ever; he hardly ever does what he's told or asked; he repeatedly hits or smacks me & others; he throws things at me & others. People say, "he's just a baby"...well, I know that, but we really don't give kids these days enough credit, because trust me, they are very smart!!! I don't know about anyone else's kids, but my 2yr old definitely knows what he's doing &/or saying.All you have to do is watch him for a few minutes & you're able to see that. So, my question is, what does work when you've tried everything that's suggested on this webite,and ,yet, NONE of it works?????? Please, I am totally open for suggestions.

0 16

I grew up in a big family. I'm the 3rd oldest child of 12 and I'm the oldest girl. I never remember my mom hitting me but I do remember getting stuff taken away like a game I liked or a privilege like going to a friends house or football game or birthday party that I've been looking forward to going. I don't agree with spanking our kids so much but when they're hitting the only technique I use and I always use it for almost everything is you get done to you what you do to others. When my daughter hits my son I make her let him hit her the same way she did and I ask her "did it hurt?" and of course she says yes and then I just tell her "well it hurt him when you did it to him" and that's when she's like "oh" and then I tell her are you going to do it again? And she says no and she really hasn't. She already knows right after she does that I'm going to make him do it to her. Shes getting the hang of the routine.

1
2 32

My son just started this this week! I'm glad this question came about. I also ask him "Does mommy hit you?" and when he says "no" I explain to him that I won't hit him if he doesn't hit me and so far it's worked... but it's only been a few days.

1
9 44

WOW! I just want to say, "thanks" to everyone for sharing what you do, it gives perspective, and in many ways those that pop, or smack, or "hit" to get their child's attention are doing similiar things. if one calls it one thing, and another calls it something else, side by side, they probably look pretty similiar. Thanks for going out on a limb to share in the face of possible judgement.

and Thanks to those that are big on not spanking, alternatives are always helpful and needed. I think most moms, esp. if they post anything here are doing their best with what they've been given, and i agree that there is SO much info out there about "discipline" that you've just got to decide what you are gonna do, and why you believe its best yet with a willingness to change it if its not working:) I think we want the same things for our children, not many parents, say, "I hope my kid grows up and does something evil enough to be punished in jail the rest of his life", we really want them to learn how to handle life as a responsible adult one day, i'm just fretting the teen age years at this point and my son is only 2 1/2 :)

Parenting is tough, for most everyone I know, its a lot of figuring out how your child is wired, and what helps him understand that "no" means "no". anyway, best wishes to all trying to figure it out. I'll post my answer to the question next, sorry, just wanted to say thanks for sharing to everyone!

0
9 44

I was clueless. A great friend helped me do the things that worked well for my son. when he hits (which has been less and less, he even looks over his shoulder as he is thinkin about hitting before he does it...they catch on quick huh), I tell him, "look at me" with a stern voice, "no hitting", i ask him, "what did momma say", (he can't repeat it yet, but i get the eye contact, and i'm holding his hands in mine by now. I tell him to apologize to the person, say, "i'm sorry" "for hitting (or whatever the infraction)", "Be gentle son" (i show him what that looks like), or if hitting with a toy not another child (i show him where he can hit, ie. the floor), now after months and months of this for the different things we are trying to teach him, he instinctively knows that it is wrong, he looks at us and we tell him, "no hit" if he does it again and to another child, he gets a "pop" on the bottom. I say, Momma said, "no hit", I've only had to pop him one or two times, (we've also used time outs and use it for other things too), but when it is done he says, "sorry for not listening to momma", I tell him, "i forgive you" and I love you. With a calm voice, and in a loving way the whole thing is done, just firm voice and face to communicate what he did was not right. Anyway, i hope this helps someone out there like me....i'm still just learning as i go along. It is amazing how much he understands even though he can not communicate exactly what he's feeling or frustrated about just yet.

1,315 8

"You hit, you sit." That is, if you can't participate in the activity without hitting, then you can't participate in the activity. Sometimes that means sitting on Mummy's lap whether you like it or not.

0
15 8

I hit them back. Of course, not hard but just enough to show them why they shouldn't do it. I have 3 children and all three of them are old enough to know not to go around hitting people. My children don't have the mind set that I can just tell them not to do it and they won't do it again. They are all hard headed and stubborn and refuse to learn anything in any way other than the hard way (I have learned that from experience). That doesn't mean I go around smacking them every time they do something wrong.

0
321 14

When my girls were toddlers I did lightly "tap" their hand if they were doing or about to do something that could be very dangerous. As for hitting another child, I can't actually remember my eldest two girls doing that as toddlers and my youngest isn't toddling yet. However, if it happens I think I will just get down to their level and explain to them, in simple terms so they can understand, that it is wrong and I will make them apologise as best they can at that age!

0
0 8

(just a quick thaught. I don't like the work 'punish' being used, couldn't it say dicipline?) on that note a cpl ppl already commented with the way i have done it with my 2 kids. :) i've also allowed them to have a body pillow hung up to hit if they are fustrated.. instead of hitting someone else. It works, even kids need a way to vent how they feel.

0
0 6

I smack my 2 yr old sons hand once and just hard enough for him to cry then I tell him in a gentle voice we dont hit people because it's not nice and i make him give the other child a hug to say sorry as he is not able to say the word sorry. Once he gives the child he hit a hug i then give him a hug and praise him for apologizing. e.g that was a good boy showing you are sorry for hitting him/her. I dont think there is anything we can do as parents to make sure they "dont do it again" but we have to be persistant so when they are old enough they will be more assertive with their emotions/ frustrations :)

0
0 0

I'm worry but smacking his hand & telling him not 2 hut some1 else? Really? That makes no sense! I'm sure ur child is very confused!

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0 23

When my son hit anyone of us, I told him that it's bad. Don't do that anymore, You don't hurt anyone.. etc. and explain to him it well why it's a NO-NO and tell him to say sorry. And then he'll hug me or anyone he just hit and he'll say 'love you' and 'sorry'.

0
0 0

We need to teach our children consequences of their actions, but not through punishment. Tell them what you want them to do, rather that what not to do. Tell them to use their word to say how they feel. By telling your children how you feel yourself, and the expressions on your face to go along with it, they will begin to understand emotions both in themselves and and others. The more they understand this, the less chances of them getting physically aggressive.And of course, get down, play with the children. Interact as much as you can. It is easier to prevent hitting from happening if you see it coming on and you are right next to them. Keep reminding your child of what is the right thing to do. Toddlers are at an age where they need to be reminded more about rules, compared to older children. It may take some time, but with consistency of all of the above, they will learn what is appropriate and what is not.

-1
0 11

My daughter who is 4 has been bitten ,nipped,punched for the last 2 years by her cousin who is a boy,they went to playgroup now in nursery together,and its still going on,am at my wits end,as they will go to same school and be in the same class.......i am worried the effect this is having and will have on her ;( x

-1
0 13

Maybe you should tell her to do it back to him... In my experience kids like to dish it out but when they get it back they don't like to take it.. Like when my kids bit I bit them back and never did it again (not that hard but enough to feel it)...If you've spoken to the mom and she hasn't done anything then you have to let the kids take care of it... Tell your daughter next time he hits you or bites you do it back! If she's scared you can teach her words to say or yell right in his face (DON'T TOUCH ME! GET AWAY FROM ME! etc.) And when they get in to school your going to have to tell the teachers whats going on they can help... There is nothing wrong to teach your daughter how to defend herself.. He sounds like a bully in the making if she doesn't stand up for herself he's going to keep doing it. I hope this helps

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8 2

when my son hits i tell him what he did wrong and he gets time out for 2 min. it usualy calms him down for a wile but he still hits.

-1
1 15

I tell him "no thank you, hitting hurts. We use nice touches." When I say nice touches, I demostrate by lightly touching his arm. I also tell him to use his words not his hands. Time out is only a last resort, when the offense happens repeatedly. Gayle, you are right, it is recommended that a child's bed not be used for punishment.

-3
11 20

I smack him on the hand and explain that its not nice when I smack him so its not nice when he smacks me. When he gets a smack from me, its just the one on the hand and it never ever becomes more than that. Dont get me wrong I am completely against CHILD ABUSE & family violence, but a light smack on the hand once in a while isnt a bad thing.

-5
1 14

I just think by smacking his hand even just a light tap you are teaching him that it is ok to hit when someone does something you don't like. What I usually do is tell my child I don't like when you hit me please use your words. Then I give him/her the words she needs. For example, "You didn't want your brother to take that toy? Tell him "I am using this" I don't want to start a debate about hitting vs not hitting. It just seems to me that when you smack a child for hitting you it's kind of hypocritical .

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1 71

My son is 13 months, and when he hits he shakes his head no. I have him sit on my lap for a time out, and tell him no hit.

-6
4 3

I have a 14 month old that hits her older sisters on the head with a hard toy. I am not sure how to go about teaching her not to do it. I have been taking the toy away and I tell her firmly no! As well as make her give her sister a hug and kiss. I don't feel like shes old enough to sit in time out nor am I going to put her in,her crib because I don't want that to be a negative thing. I need some advicce ladies I don't want to raise a bully!

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1 20

I give my 19 month old 1min time outs in his crib.....he understood after about 3 of them.....now all I have to say is it hurts when you hit me and if you do it again you r having a timeout! It has worked like a charm so far!

-6
1 20

I have a 4yr old and a 2yr old. I believe in spanking but NOT with my hand or my husbands. We use a paddle when the behavior warrants it. I also use my sons(4yr) room for timeout. It is the best place for him to decompress. He is a very emotional child with several behavior issues outside the norm. We are struggling with hitting, and overall aggressive behavior at school and at home. I am seeing that it is due mainly to not knowing how to deal with frustration. We do not spank him for hitting and never have. I hold his hands and explain that God created them for loving and caring. We have our own struggles each day but I know that as his mother I am doing the best for him and my daughter (who gets spanked as well when needed). The most important thing as mothers and parents is to remember that whatever discipline you are using; know why you are using it and use it always out of love. If you can't do that than you are not going to succeed or help your child grow.

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