When Your Two-Year-Old Is Hitting

If you have a two-year-old that is hitting it can quickly make you lose your temper.  You say no, you tell him that hands are not for hitting, but they just do it again and again. What can you do?

2 year old hitting

When Your Two Year Old is Hitting: 

1.  Be Patient. I know it is hard, but it is what works.  “My son did this at the same age, and then one day he just stopped. I think it was a way of him communicating before he had the words to use.” ~Tanja D

2.  Set rules and stick to them. Time out works well at this age.
“We have a time out chair. One minute for each year of his age. We started this at eighteen months. I always explain why he is sitting there and then put the timer on. He needs time to process what I say. The first time he got off the chair quite a few times, I just put him back and restarted the timer; eventually, he stayed for the full two minutes. ~Helen H

3. Help him learn more words.  Not knowing how to talk ends in frustration.
“He is trying to communicate. He understands “no” but not why the answer is no. Instead of saying no try to come up with a yes. For example, if he wants a cookie substitute it with coloring with you or a snack or something that is a yes.

Make it sound really exciting. Once you have tried using distraction and he hits you again, walk away. I even tell my kids “mommy’s frustrated with you hitting me. I’m going in time out”. He wants your attention. When you return from your retreat, praise him if he’s acting positively.” ~Tina O

4. Make it positive.
“Pretend like when they are about to hit you, they are really giving you a high five! They get frustrated and walk away and you are not giving in to the negative attention. My sister who has five kids gave me this tip and it literally works every time.” ~ Kate P

5.  Consistency is key.
“Use this as a teaching moment. Keep being consistent and they will learn.” ~ Shannon V

6. Be honest.
“Tell him you know he is mad or frustrated but he cannot hit mommy or the dog whoever. ” ~ Tina C

7.  Give him some grace and remember that he is only two years old.
I think most kids that age hit from time to time. They are still learning. Just make sure they know it is wrong and bring his attention elsewhere.” ~Sarah P

8. Keep saying NO.
“It takes a lot of repetition of saying no, but eventually they will understand.” ~ Ann D

9.  “Some kids react this way more than others. My oldest did this a lot but after a lot of teaching, he grew out of it.” ~Keri S

10. Make sure that they understand what they have done.
“We make our children say they are sorry. If they will not, we have them go to time out.” ~Cheryl M

When your child is hitting, it can seem like a phase that just goes on and on. Remember that, like crawling, it will end.  There was a time when I thought that our daughter would never walk, but one day she just did.

You may be thinking that you are embarrassed or that this phase seems to be lasting forever, but it won’t.  One day it will just end and you will move on to new phases. Be consistent and honest with your child.

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