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She hits really hard!

She hits with the strength of a million suns!⁠

⁠ ⁠⁠⁠Some children see hitting as a way of inviting someone to play.⁠

For some, a huge smack is equivalent to a fun smack on the back to an old coworker.⁠

Yes, there are also the children who hit whenever they feel the slightest tinge of annoyance or upset.⁠

Let me remind you children do not move past this without an adult taking the time to coach. Yelling and hitting your child is not coaching. ⁠

Step 1: Don’t stand or hold an angry toddler. The first way to break the cycle is to create extra space between your child and others. *At least one arm’s length. If they want to get closer to say, “You need extra space when your working.”⁠

Step 2: Inform the village. “Heads up we are working on hitting. We prefer extra space to keep everyone safe.” If you state the strategy, other parents will be likely to be supportive rather than judgemental if and when the hit occurs.

Step 3: Give the child a heads up as to the consequence. If you hit, you will come and sit with me. Your child should sit on your lap and watch the action they are missing. Don’t tell them they are missing it. Sit quietly or explain what game the others are playing. When your child cries or tries to get down, restate the problem. “You are not ready to be safe. You can sit here until you are calm.” Step 4: When your child is cal, look her in the eyes and say, “Let’s try again.” Stay close. If she child gets tense or overexcited, pull her back a couple of steps and remind her you can help her talk. Hitting is not a choice.

Repeat once more. After two hits, I call it a day and leave the situation. I say, “It’s tricky for you; it’s time to go. We can try again tomorrow.” Take her to a different play space with no children like swings, backyard, etc. She can still play but without the pressure of social dynamics. This change gives both of you a break.

Joshua

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