Behavior is a very concerning factor in a child’s growth. It shows and depicts how the growth of your child is going on. Whether it is in the right direction or not. At the age of 23 to 24 months (about 2 years), your child learns certain words and certain expressions and he or she tends to use them as frequently as he or she could. They will depict their anger and frustration with the help of those words and expressions. Hence when you make a funny face, your toddler mimics that and he replies instantly with the same face or with some face that he or she manages to make. The same thing is regarding ‘what they hear, they will speak.’ This means that you need to be cautious about exposing them to the wrong choices of words. As if you unknowingly or knowingly curse in front of them. They will catch those words. These words might be cursing or not. But they will impact them. Let us say your toddler is playing with other jolly toddlers, and suddenly a small fight erupted between them, which is quite common and natural. And your child cursed another child or simply hit him or her. That is very unacceptable, and it is because they are learning those things and their way of conduct is very wrong. The way they conduct themselves is behavior. If you are unable to maintain and let your child understand how they need to behave, then they might get excluded from others as well as nobody wants to hang out with them. People sometimes think that the behavior of their child is funny. It seems sometimes, but it is not. Because this behavior which they inherit and develop might cause some real problems. And nobody wants problems in their life. So, when your child is hitting some other child, you might be in the corner of embarrassment. This embarrassment is just because of that bad behavior that your child exhibits. In front of others. And it describes how you raise them. Well, you can still improve and can be a better parent and change things in a good way.
Why did your child hit?
The obvious reason one can have for this is that they are exploring themselves. They will explore their extent and limits. so, when they hit you with their toy or if they hit some other child, they are testing their limits and acceptance. Whether the thing which they have committed is accepted or not. Hence that is why guidance is important for them. Another responsible reason is that they do not know anything about self-control and well conduct. They do not know which feeling is good and which feeling is not. If they are happy, they might hit, if they are not happy, or if they are frustrated or angry then they hit. Hence, they express themselves by hitting. Another thing that is responsible for this behavior is that they do not understand whether it is bad or good. This means they do not have any idea whether the way they are conducting themselves is good or not. They simply do what they think they can do easily.
What measure can you take when your child hits?
The hitting phase in toddlers is not permanent but if you do not guide them and let them know about the fact that they are doing the wrong thing then it might become a serious problem for them. You can take measures and prevention to control them from hitting others. These are only the tips; these are suggestions that you can use to guide them and to let them know that the way they are conducting themselves is wrong.
- Physical restraint: You can easily hold them tight when they try to hit some other toddler. If your toddler is out of control, hold him and help him to calm down. Sometimes they might use force to get out of your hold. You do not need to exercise extreme force. You can always be gentle and remember that a warm comfortable hug works all the time. When you are holding them, always tell them the reason you are holding them, so they understand it is wrong and unacceptable whatever they are doing.
- Negative effects of restraining: In some cases, a toddler sometimes reacts negatively regarding the restraining, you need to be cautious, and humble, and need to do these; calmly take him away from the scene and distract him with something else. Do not let him or her play with other toddlers in order to make them realize that hitting others is bad and unacceptable. Once he or she calms down then talks to them, tells them, and guides them that those things are bad and are not good values of conduct.
- Alternatives: If your child is still frustrated and angry, you can guide them. How? By telling them if they are feeling any kind of these emotions like when they want to hit somebody because that other child picks up the toy they want or if they do not get their favorite ice cream they simply need to stay put and do not hit them directly. Instead, they can count to 12 or they can do sit-ups. This will allow them to calm down.
- Talk and provide emotional support: Talking is essential and if talking is done with little emotional support, it becomes highly effective. You and your toddler share a very precious bond. And with the help of proper communication, you can be best friends as well. Hence, communication is the key. Most of the time people avoid talking with their children, you do not need to do that, you need to ask them and let them know about the things that they need to know.
- Prevention is better than cure: You can prevent hitting before your child even starts doing it. You need to observe his or her behavior and understand what leads them to hit others or do bad things. Sometimes they make noises, these noises are signs that they are going to do something which is not good. Sounds like some sort of growling or yelling or crying. Hence, once you know about it, you can control them easily.
What do you not need to do?
Many people lose their temper and because of it, they might create problems that they do not even think about. Hitting and spanking do no good, in fact, spanking or hitting them can cause more harm than you think. A research study was conducted in 2017. It shows the relationship between hitting spanking and behavioral issues. It is found in that research study, children of 5 years of age who are spanked and hit by their parents show a higher aptitude for behavioral problems. These problems can be regarded as arguing, fighting, acting impulsively, showing anger, and many others. So, if you want to induce positive behavior in your child, you do not need to hit them or spank them. As if you are doing it then it is obvious that they will be doing it too. Hence, try to be a better example and avoid such scenarios, and most importantly do not get involved in power struggles. If they resist, do not push them forcefully instead of talking to them and making them understand and you need to be patient and calm during the entire process.
Do you need to react with anger?
You already know that arguing and reacting with anger is not the right solution. They know and understand the language of love and calmness therefore, you need to remain calm and be firm as well. No doubt the situation will be frustrating for you. Handling your child in a tough situation can be frustrating and tiring. But you do not need to react with anger.
Tips to handle your toddler’s bad conduct:
- Avoid factors that are responsible for that type of behavior. Sometimes they are going through stages of development as well, for example;
- Are they teething?
- Are they getting enough sleep?
- Are they hungry or not?
- Or are they frustrated about something?
- Give them opportunities to express themselves: you need to give them chances, these changes can be;
- Taking them for some physical activity – will help them to let out their frustration.
- You can take them to different places just to change the vibe around them.
- You can also make them indulge in their hobbies, hobbies can be what they like to do and what will help them to overcome their frustration.
Once you follow all these precautions and tips regularly. You can see the results for yourself. And you will be glad.
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