Help! How do I get my son to stop hitting?

  • My toddler is constantly hitting his siblings. While the majority of the time he is simply “playing” with them, I really want him to stop the hitting. I have tried time out, fussing at him and making him say he's sorry...but nothing works. Does anyone know how to stop a toddler from hitting?
  • We are dealing with the same frustrations as you... our older daughter has begun hitting in frustration. We are equally disturbed as you. The only thing that has had any positive impact is trying to explain to her that babies hit because they can't use words. She will be 3 in Sept, so being called a baby has made her more concerned with expressing her anger verbally instead of physically... other than that, I'd love to hear suggestions!

  • Now that he is getting a bit bigger, it is getting better, but it is tough!

  • First of all, take away all hard toys. I had a neighbor that after she had her daughter started doing this, except he would throw his toys at her as well. It's probably a way of getting attention. I'm sorry I don't have more ideas for you, but anyone who does, I would gladly listen to them as well, my child has started hitting at me when she does not get her way, so I am anticipating this with my second one coming along as well.

  • I really like the idea of letting them know how grown-up it is to use words instead of hitting. Of course that requires some specific guidance on what words to use and how. Simply sending them to time out doesn't show them what appropriate behavior is. I have also always told mine that hands are not for hurting so they have that little internal speech when they think about hurting.

  • Age has definitely helped, but I think that it also helped to give him appropriate things to hit. When he wanted to hit, I would tell him NO....we don't hit people, we only hit baseballs...then he would run outside and hit the baseball around. I also tried to teach him to talk to his siblings if he wasn't getting his way. Of course, timeouts helped as is a tough battle, but we are winning!!!

  • That's great news! It's always a relief when progress is made!

  • Agreed... our situation has changed a little because now our little one hits back! The joy of parenthood!