All young children get irritated from time to time, and it is not uncommon for them to respond by hitting the adult. When this happens, take it away and deal with the situation at the moment, being firm in the form of response and saying that this behavior is not allowed. Teach the little one to express their emotions in a non-aggressive way that won't hurt anyone. So that he doesn't have that attitude, try to find patterns related to his behavior, praising him when he does well. By teaching him on a daily basis and with a lot of discipline, he will become less aggressive soon.
Method 1 of 3: Dealing With Episodes of Violent Behavior
Step 1. Remove the child from the environment immediately
If she hits you or someone else, you need to remedy the situation right away; take it away from the little group you're playing with, for example.
If she was fighting with another little one over a toy, take the object away from your child
Step 2. Respond verbally to child behavior
As soon as you separate her from the focus of confusion, say something brief to her (children usually respond better to a few words; avoid exaggerating the explanations at the time). She should realize that she behaved wrongly and that's why she won't have fun with others anymore.
Pick up the child and say, firmly: "You can't hit anyone."
Step 3. Talk to her when you are calmer
Comfort the child who has been abused and take appropriate action according to your child's age; if he doesn't calm down, take him to another location. A few points need to be discussed after he is calmer and ready to talk. This makes the little one know that he is solely responsible for the process of “calming down”.
Go up to him and say: “You hit someone and this behavior is unacceptable. That's why he won't play anymore today.”
Step 4. Help him “identify” his emotions
Very young children still have limited vocabularies and may not be able to describe what they are feeling; their conclusion is that hitting a friend may be the only way to communicate the frustration or irritation they feel, since they don't know how to express such feelings vocally. Identify his emotions and provide the words used to describe them; as time goes by, this can prevent the recurrence of aggressive behavior, after all, it is this that needs to be modified, and not the feeling of nervousness.
Say, for example: “You felt irritated that she took your toy, but that's okay. It's normal to get angry from time to time."
Method 2 of 3: Dealing With Constant Aggression Problems
Step 1. You must always punish your child when it becomes a habit
The parent needs to discipline her regularly and in a predictable way, as the child needs to know that this behavior will not be tolerated. Whenever the little one hits you, use the same method of intervention and consequence, fighting back with the discipline plan.
Taking her away and grounding her is one of the most effective punishments. Generally, these punishments should last a minute according to the child's age; if he is three years old, he will be away for three minutes
Step 2. Know what the “triggers” are
Sometimes you will already know that your child's hitting behavior will happen, due to a certain circumstance (when he is hungry or tired) or at certain times (bathtime or bedtime). Pay attention to these patterns and make small changes.
- In some cases, you'll be able to minimize his bad behavior by sticking to a specific time for him to eat and sleep, for example;
- If he starts hitting someone at a specific time, it's a good idea to prepare him beforehand by saying, “It's almost bedtime. In five minutes we will have to put the toys away”.
Step 3. Encourage him to use words when aggressive behavior appears
Help him develop his vocabulary by instructing him to speak when he is feeling something so that he can express himself and demonstrate the needs in question. As the child gains the ability to expose what he needs, he will be better prepared to deal with conflicts and difficulties.
If she's nervous or frustrated, say, "Use words and don't hit anyone, please."
Step 4. Address the issue of dealing with frustration
Children need to learn that bullying is not acceptable, even when they feel angry. Reiterate that hitting other people is not a good thing to do, and try to figure out what ways the child can respond to frustration or nervousness without hurting.
Say, for example: “It's okay to feel angry, but not hit people. Do you know what you can do when you feel frustrated? Get another toy or call for help.”
Step 5. Practice deep breathing to help her calm down
Tell the child that there are resources to help her deal with her anger and that they do not necessarily involve physical aggression to others. Teach her to breathe deeply, doing the activity together; if she feels frustrated or irritated, encourage her to take a deep breath.
Try the “square breathing” technique with your child. Inhale, pause, exhale and pause again. Draw a square (or have the little one do it) with their fingers during the exercise. If you like, provide an example of a square to help you train, and read this page to learn more
Step 6. See a therapist
If your child's behavior gets out of control and you can't teach yourself how to behave properly, going to a psychologist or therapist may be the best option; find a professional who specializes in treating children. He will be able to provide some ideas and techniques for you to be able to correctly deal with the behavior of the little one. This also makes the parents learn which "triggers" trigger his irritation, preventing future problems.
Look for a child therapist or psychiatrist in the health insurance or by doing an internet search
Method 3 of 3: Preventing the Child from Hitting People
Step 1. Point out the good and bad examples
When other children behave well and handle frustration correctly, use them as an example, just as when little friends don't behave as they should. Tell your child to observe such behaviors and ask what is good or bad after analyzing them.
It is important to be aware of your own behavior, being a good example for the little one. Even if you want to demonstrate your authority and raise him rigidly, it's critical to be careful and focus on teaching your child how to respond correctly without being aggressive yourself
Step 2. Discuss the correct forms of behavior before allowing the child to be part of any group (either in kindergarten or while playing)
This is important in cases where she has already assaulted colleagues in other situations, that is, you will need to talk about the correct way she needs to behave and how to treat other children, explaining the situation in a simple and easy way for her to understand. The conversation should be brief and not go into too much detail, or your child could get lost.
Say, for example: “Before going to play, I want you to share toys and be nice to the other children. If you have any problems, talk to an adult and never hit or hurt a friend.”
Step 3. Praise your child's good behavior
Whenever he manages to deal with anger and frustration without hitting someone, show your satisfaction and reinforce the behavior, especially when noticing that he is nervous, but not being aggressive with a peer. Praise him and reinforce his positive attitude whenever the child shares a toy, lets a friend play in the video game, and uses kind words, showing that you are satisfied with his or her great behavior. It is important to praise him right after the right action.
Even if he's still not behaving quite as he should, point out the evolution he's made
Step 4. Give the child time, attention and affection
Spend a lot of time talking and playing with your child, setting aside a few hours each day to read, sing, or have fun with some activity where you can give your child your full attention. When a child strengthens bonds with his parents, he is less likely to turn to violence to resolve his frustrations.