He's 2.5 & it doesn't appen often, but it does happen sometimes - usually when there's an argument over toys (as I've described here).. I don't want to get angry with him because I don't want him to adopt anger as a response to violence, but I don't want him to think I'm ok with it either.

asked 19 May '10, 23:08

DaveDev's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I've had to deal with this at times, too (as have most parents, sooner or later). Here's the approach that worked well for us:

  1. IMMEDIATE removal from the situation, tell the child in no uncertain terms that the behavior is unacceptable under any circumstances, and time out / loss of appropriate privileges (which might include ending participation for the day in whatever activity was being enjoyed... such as leaving the playground, etc.).

  2. After he's calmed down, need to make amends, apologize.

  3. Later, more reflection. I've found it especially useful to "role play", re-enact the situation (and similar ones) and ask what alternative actions would have been better. This is the part that gives the child the mental tools to behave differently next time.


answered 20 May '10, 05:56

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

+1 role play is good idea and fun

(20 May '10, 10:09) K D

We are have had a similar issues with our son at various times. The first thing we did was identify why he was hitting. When he was younger it was because the other kids were getting too close and he didn't have the words to say leave me alone. At that point we taught him to move away

More recently it has been, like your situation, sharing issues(normally with younger sister) or because it gets a response. What we did is:

  1. Remove him from the situation (possible some time in timeout)
  2. Then we would talk about it not being acceptable in our family to hit and ask him to think about a different way he could handle the situation next time, we might provide some suggestions...
  3. Then he had to give the other person a hug and say sorry.

If I see a situation that may result in him hitting(i.e little sister taking his toys). then I remind him about what we talked about.

Your question has made me realise that for us the above did work because after this being a constant issue it is a while since we have had this issue.


answered 20 May '10, 00:47

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

edited 20 May '10, 10:17

Yeah that a good thing to do, but I usually ask the child whats wrong, and how he felt about it. It's important to talk to the child about their feelings too, instead of saying you did wrong etc., and blaming them and they would be angry towards you as well? So yeah, ask whats wrong, is he ok, and if he doesn't want to talk about it or say anything just tell him your there when he's ready but still say its ok to be angry or upset but its not ok to hurt someone else. That's not nice, and tell him what was wrong about it and explain to him if things were reversed, but if he's not listening take him to a corner, or to his room till he calms down and listens.

This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered 20 May '10, 01:57

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edited 20 May '10, 10:04

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Asked: 19 May '10, 23:08

Seen: 4,819 times

Last updated: 20 May '10, 10:17