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Old 12-11-2017, 05:13 PM   #1
jewel97
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Default Hitting

I just tried to read through the sticky on hitting. And I understand the concept of you but you sit. And have used this although not consistently. But my little guy hits several times a day. He is 3 and does have a speech delay so I think that contributes to his frustration levels, but he does talk quite a bit now so it's harder to use that as an excuse. I just don't know how to get him to stop. I remove him from the situation, he cones bask and apologizes and we talk about having nice hands, feet, mouth whatever he has used to be mean with. But it doesn't still. He smacked his sister today in the face really hard... any suggestions on stopping the behavior?
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hitting

For us, it took a lot of diligent sitting with the child so we could catch the hand before it could make contact. Also, that close observation may provide insight into *why* he is hitting. Is he frustrated? Keep modeling those words (and with a speech delay, that might take that much more effort and focus). If you or another parent/adult can't be with him, then he has shown he isn't safe with sister. Can you keep them both in sight but separated? For sure praise him whenever he chooses the right action (however small). We also do a lot of modeling gentle touches. So me moving the child's hand gently patting my arm to be able to distinguish between hard touch and soft. He may not completely realize how hard he is moving his hand and how much more he needs to control it to be soft. Does he get a big reaction from you or siblings? because sometimes a big reaction is exciting, even if it is negative. Can you coach other children to express sadness but not anger? Talk about how if you hit siblings, then you aren't safe to play with them so they and you will have to take a break from each other.

Three is a busy tactile age. Is he able to get lots of large muscle movement during the day? Pushing, pulling, jumping and/or climbing? It can only help if he gets healthy good input from using those muscles.
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hitting

At age 3 I would plan on at least 6 months to extinguish the behavior. If it disappears sooner, great! But consistency over time and just plain turning 4 are the most effective things.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hitting

He does also have some sensory issues. So he could be getting input... I hadn't thought of that. The girls cry when they are hit and yelling happens more than it should too. I'm working on not yelling but man it's hard. He seems to do it when he is mad but he almost always seems sorry. So it could be an impulse control thing to maybe?
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hitting

Impulse control is definitely a factor at this age.

Have you asked him why he hits?

You could practice with him, when he's not upset, what he can do instead. Including saying, "I'm so mad I want to hit you!"

Sometimes kids will accept hitting an inanimate object instead, like the couch. Mine never went for that but it's worth proposing.
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