No Hitting!


My son Tyler has started hitting and I think there are different ways to address the problem which is why I am writing this blog post.  Some say spank, some say to tell him no, some may hit back and some say to give him a hug.  My way of addressing it is to not react to it and then if the behavior continues to address it by stating “no hitting please, use your words” (God bless Nanny 911).  My concern is if you constantly react to him hitting he will learn hitting gets your attention which is negative reinforcement.  He is hitting because something isn’t going his way, he can’t express how he feels so he gets frustrated and hits, or he isn’t getting the attention he wants.

When people say “don’t hit daddy, hug daddy” that doesn’t accomplish much in my opinion because he didn’t want to hug in the first place, he wanted something else.  By saying no hitting every time he hits, I would be negatively reinforcing the action which doesn’t help him address what he wanted in the first place.  My method is to acknowledge the fact that he is frustrated, acknowledge I want to help, and finally tell him his reaction wasn’t appropriate but I still love him (which is where the hug could come in).  I don’t believe in spanking so don’t even recommend that.  What do you think is the best way to handle hitting?

0 thoughts on “No Hitting!

  • Hey – I’m glad I’m not the only one with this problem. Shelby has started hitting too and we have been doing timeouts. That is pretty much our form of punishment all around, though. Rarely do we spank, but sometimes it gets there.

    The thing I find is timeout works if you’re consistent. We even had to start counting from 3 (also, counting backward seems to work better than counting forward). Once she understood what the counting was for, she would let me get to 0 and then stop whatever she was doing right as soon as I moved to put her in timeout. The rule was, no matter what, if I threatened timeout and started counting down, if she let me get to 0, she got one, period. She cries and apologizes the whole way there and breaks my heart. But now, she let’s me get down to 1 before she will usually correct her behavior.

  • Hi Jeremy, I was just reading about Tyler regarding No Hitting. Have you read a book called 1-2-3 Magic: by… Thomas W. Phelan PhD. Both Charisse and I highly recommended it.

  • Am I ever glad to call you my brother?!? Michael and I are total fans of Super Nanny who highly encourages consistancy in how you react. I believe that giving a warning on the first offense lets them know that you’re aware of their behavior (they are always aware of it too before you have to call them out on it) and that if they repeat the action again it’s straight to time out for the same amount of time as their age. For Evan, after 2 minutes we ask him why he was put in time out. After he can tell us why then he has to apologize. Lastly we ALWAYS get a kiss and then we quickly move on and don’t stew on it. It’s over and forgotten. (Until the next time!)

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