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How Do I Stop My Toddler from Hitting?

Hitting others is usually a common physical response for toddlers who are unable to share their emotions through words. But that doesn’t make it appropriate behavior. Learn how to resolve this issue in your home.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

At this developmental stage, it can be common for toddlers to lash out physically. In some cases, this behavior will naturally fade over time. But when your toddler shows a pattern of this behavior, your attention and care are necessary.

Your response should depend on your toddler’s age and maturity level. Here are some tips to respond to your toddler’s hitting behavior.

  • Make sure your toddler knows that this behavior is unacceptable.
  • But also seek to understand why he or she is hitting a sibling or friend. Sometimes, your toddler might simply be seeking attention or a response.
  • Use these opportunities to model grace and forgiveness with your toddler. Look for moments for your toddler to practice apologizing.

Remember to reinforce positive behavior alongside of focusing on shaping negative behavior in a different direction. For more help on this topic and modeling grace and forgiveness, explore our parenting resources here.  

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