My Child is Hitting: Parenting The Problem, Not the Punch

When Kids Hit, What Are They Really Saying?


What should I do when my child hits? 

It’s one of the most common questions we get at Hand in Hand Parenting, and it’s the content of this week’s podcast. And no wonder. Hitting can feel dangerous. Offensive. Confusing.

But if hitting is so common, why are we all still wondering what to do about it?

There’s so much differing advice!

Abigail talks about all the quick-tip strategies out there and why they might work at first but why so often they fail in the long-term.

We look at what children might be communicating through hitting, whether it’s a (somewhat misguided) attempt at play or as an expression of deep-rooted fear, and Elle admits completely misreading some of her child’s hitting behaviors. 

Understanding Hitting and other Defiant Behavior

And although we don’t encourage hitting, we talk about why parenting the punch itself doesn’t actually ease the problem but instead pushes the feelings causing a child to hit to one side. They may disappear for now, but they (and the hitting) will soon be back again. 

boy who keeps hitting

So, we talk about what parenting the problem and not the punch actually means:

  • Get wise to why your child hits and how to respond accordingly
  • How to keep protected and still lean into the hitting
  • How hitting can offer room for growth and connection as you partner with your child and move past hitting

Listen to Hitting: Parent the Problem, Not The Punch and learn to set limits when your child hits and respond in the way your child really needs you to. Because if you truly want to solve your child’s hitting, you have to do the least obvious thing first – accept it. 

More Resources For Parenting When Your Child Hits

Elle mentioned the post When Your Toddler Hits You in this episode. Read it to discover more about this new perspective around hitting.

We did a podcast with play expert Lawrence Cohen on aggressive play, how to manage it so that it helps reduce a child’s aggressive behaviors. Listen to it here.

Learn how to lean into the first stages of aggression with a vigorous snuggle.

You might also like this article on partnering with your child which is what we are really talking about in this podcast,

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