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Dr. Gupta
Dr. Gupta, Doctor (MD)
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 8124
Experience:  Experienced, Board Certified practicing Pediatrician experienced in common parenting issues.
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How do I get my toddler to stop hiting. He never used to ...

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How do I get my toddler to stop hiting. He never used to hit until this other kid started hitting him and now he hits everyone he comes in contact with. He thinks its a joke and I try to tell him its not funny. He is nearly 14 months old. My husband and I are against spanking which we believe just promotes more hitting and confuses the child. Is he too young to understand?
Primarily, hitting begins because the level of frustration experienced by the toddler cannot be expressed any other way. They are still largely preverbal and lack any other coping mechanisms to deal with anger and frustration. So they hit, kick or bite – sometimes all three. And they are too young to understand that this is not an acceptable form of dealing with anger. This stage of 'expression' can begin as soon as the 1-year mark to 18 months or even somewhat later depending on the temperament of the child, his verbal skills or his environment.
The best way to deal with a toddler hitting another toddler is not to reward it with lots of attention. Simply tell the child no, remove him from the child he's hitting and put him in a time out. Don't make a huge production out of the problem. Conversely, reward the good behaviors.
Denying your child positive attention is another approach. Dont allow him him to sit in your lap/ or any other behaviour which he likes for a short period of time...
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