We understand that our children are still young and growing and therefore, it is okay if they become a little naughty. There are a lot of games and pranks which as a parent, you wouldn’t mind if your kid does them. However, child hitting is not a good behavior and you need to discourage your kids from becoming violent. I recall the first time my daughter smacked me. It was a turning point for me as a parent because I knew I was now confronting a new problem I had to deal with quickly. Not only did I feel angry, I felt so ashamed and devastated at the same time. When this happens, many parents wonder” how did my precious and beautiful kid turn into a little monster overnight?”
Children are interesting creatures, one minute, they’re so sweet and cuddly; in a split second, they put on another personality that portrays their violent nature. I know when this happens, many parents feel they have failed in their responsibility as a parent. Don’t worry because a lot of kids go through this when they are growing up. Actually, your main concern at this point should be how to fix this problem.
Having a kid who smacks you also takes a toll on you. For many parents, this is a difficult thing to deal with because it starts out of the blue and no matter how hard you try, children keep doing it more frequently; it becomes a little obsession. Because of this, some parents dread going to public places, functions or playgrounds for the fear of being hit by their kids in public. “I don’t want to be a parent to a kid who smacks”, this should be your declaration before you even begin to find child hitting solutions.
Fortunately, there are a lot of resources such as parenting books, the internet and even parenting experts that you can go to for help. However, the unfortunate part is that some parents fail to realize results even after exhausting all these options. Remember, this is not a problem you can deal with in 1 day, I week or I month, it requires consistent effort and dedication with whichever approach that you feel is working for you. This is important because there are parents who give up too quickly and hope that this problem will go away by itself or, they have to brace themselves to live with a kid who thinks hitting others is cool.
Let me briefly share one technique that has worked well for many parents. After finding no solution with other strategies, it is time to try and do things differently. I have encountered parents who concur that showing anger or reprimanding your child when they strike you or another person in most cases fails to eliminate the problem. For this method to work, you need to be 2 people; you can either do it with your spouse, nanny, an older child or with an adult possibly a friend or family member.
The problem why many parents fail to tame kids is because when a child hits you or another person, the immediate reaction is to shout at them, go towards them and sometimes, retaliate by hitting them back. This is a mistake because the child fails to understand what you saying and why you have taken that action and so, they keep doing what they’re doing. With this method, try to put your child in a scenario where they will hit someone else who is with you.
Now, instead of confronting your child, rush to person who has been hit and dramatically ask them whether they’ve been injured. For this technique to work, you have to be very good at acting because you need to make your child feel they’ve done something very wrong. If you’re using another child, they can pretend they’re seriously hurt and begin crying.
For an adult, it is important for their body language and facial expression to show they’re in pain. What this technique does is that it focuses on the victim rather than the attacker. When doing this try to avoid direct contact with your child, ignore them completely and focus on asking the other person if they are ok. Trying to ‘help’ the victim makes the child to feel guilty and sorry for what they have done. After all, it’s only you and the ‘victim’ who know its just pretense.
Doing this often makes your child to realize that hitting someone else is not good because it hurts. Parents who have succeeded with this method recommend that you do this at least 3 times a day because it will help your child understand the message clearly and change their behavior. It’s worth mentioning that the period it takes for child to undergo complete transformation and desist from child hitting depends on how you administer the program and how receptive a child is. It is important for parents to understand that this takes quite some time from you coupled with hard work to get results.
Bottom line, as a parent, you are likely experience a stage where your children will begin hitting you and other people as an expression of their anger. Responding to this behavior by shouting or hitting them back doesn’t help. At times, it can lead to more rebellion. The above technique is an example of a mind game that you can use on your children to make them realize they are not doing something good. A lot of parents have obtained good results by working closely with their children.
Of course, as earlier mentioned, remember this method and any other technique will not yield results overnight and therefore, you need to exercise patience but at the same time, focus on what you want to achieve. Child hitting is a stage that many children go through. For parents, it’s often a period of confusion, anger, physical and psychological pain. The answer lies in finding the appropriate methodologies that will yield the best results.
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