Does your toddler hit you when you say no to them? Do they bite and smack other children in the playground? Does your toddler bite you when you do something against their will?
Well, if this is a new discovery for you, welcome to the world of toddlers. It is quite normal for children to bite and smack, or hit someone when they are angry or upset. This usually happens because your toddler doesn’t know how to express themselves. They are in the process of learning everything. They don’t have the words to express their feelings, which is the reason they choose biting and smacking as alternative ways of telling others how they exactly feel.
Continue reading the article to find out the right way to put an end to this biting and smacking.
Take your Child Away from the Situation
Whenever you see your child hitting another toddler or lashing out at them, then the first thing that you should do is instantly break up the situation. Gently pick your toddler in your arms and take them away from the situation that is making them feel angry or irritated. This is the best way to avoid this situation. As much as you would want to scream, it is not a good idea to do that with your little child. It is also quite possible for your child to start hitting or biting you when you pick them up. If this happens, just ignore and take your child outside of that zone.
Understand their Feelings on a Deeper Level
There’s always a reason behind your child’s bad behavior. Therefore, it is important for parents to understand this and talk to their child. It is not alright to encourage your child to continue behaving badly, but by addressing the root issue, you will be able to put a stop to all the biting and hitting.
If you see your child hitting another toddler, then take them away from the situation. Observe the situation and then come up with a relevant explanation. If you see that your toddler is upset because all other children are not letting him/her play, then you can teach your child to express this in words instead of using violence. This practice is easier with children that are in the age of learning to speak. You can tell them to say ‘can I play’ or ‘I want a toy’ to other children instead of hitting them in anger. Teaching these small sentences to your little one might take some time and lots of practice that you can do at home.
Address the Main Issue
Sometimes children might act wildly when certain needs are not met. They might be hitting others to get your attention or just because they are feeling hungry. Sometimes, children hit when they are tired and need to rest. These are some of the most common reasons that children become grumpy.
It is also possible that your child feels like they are being controlled by you. So, instead of giving them orders, try to give them options. This will help them make their own decision, which will keep them happy and content. If it is breakfast time, then instead of telling them what to eat, give them a choice of different cereals.
If your child is biting and fighting with other children because he/she doesn’t have a toy, then get one for them. When you deal with the main issue, you are able to solve the problem much quicker.
Give them an Alternate Way
Children hit and bite because they don’t know any other way to react. They hit when they are angry, upset, sad, irritated, or hungry. It is the parents’ responsibility to tell them that biting and hitting is not the right thing to do. Provide them with alternatives to deal with their emotions and feelings, instead of using their hands.
- Tell your child to make use of words like ‘no’ and ‘please’ to find a way to get in or out of a situation.
- Tell them to be polite and gentle with everyone.
- Tell them that hitting and biting is wrong and totally unacceptable.
- Tell them they don’t have to pick a fight with someone if they are being irritating.
- Tell them to walk away from a bad situation.
- Tell them that they can come to you for help instead of physical violence.
Children usually behave like this because they haven’t learnt to use words and other actions instead of hitting and biting. They do what they feel is right without knowing about right and wrong. Therefore, as a parent, it is your responsibility to correct their behavior and teach them the right way of dealing with tense situations.
Be Patient when Dealing with a Child
Young children who are in the process of learning usually bite and hit when they don’t know what else to do. So, if your child has become a little wild, there is no need to lose your composure. Hitting or scolding your child just so that they stop hitting is never going to work. Furthermore, when parents scold or hit their children, it always has the opposite effect on them
It is important that parents stay calm and patient, and know that their children have no idea what they are doing. Instead of taking it out on them, try to give more time to teaching them different ways to cope with their anger and emotions. You should always respond gently to your child.
Children who bite, smack, and hit might make you want to pull your hair and scream, but you should always do the opposite. Whenever your toddler bites or hits you or someone else, know that they are starting to learn to express their feelings. Of course this is not the right way of expressing it, but if you don’t tell them that, how else will they find out? So, even if your child is behaving this way, you should always turn it into a lesson that they can learn from.
If your child is having an issue and you would like to talk to a consultant from Nanny Options call us on 01 5331986.
© Teresa Boardman, Nanny Options.
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