My name is Emilia and my child hits. And then those who have been hit, hit back. So then my children are hitting each other, and I’m yelling on the top of my lungs that they stop that, right now, no more hitting or… Well, luckily the problem has stayed inside the family, so we are still invited to play dates, but it’s still not nice.
It’s not really about the terrible twos and frustration, or hating each other’s guts, it’s more about having a lot of energy – and well, just wanting to smash things. So I’ve tried to canalize the aggression and smashing into more positive energy without focusing so much on the hitting, because then we end up in a power struggle and then it’s all about the terrible twos. But there was this nice post by Chrystal from Growing a Jeweled Rose about how to discourage hitting, if you’d prefer a more theoretical approach.
We have a ”light sabre” which is basically a piece of a pool noodle and quite safe for hitting with. So when the hitting starts, I take out the biggest and meanest looking dino, and urge the hitter to attack him, as he’s looking like he’s going to wolf us down any minute. Then the others can take turns too until the dino doesn’t present a threat anymore, i.e. we can move on to something else. I don’t know if hitting things and attacking animals is what I really want to teach them, but well, it’s pretend play. And maybe they do need to be able to feel strong and win against something, be it a plastic dino.
Sarah from Frugal Fun For Boys wrote about different ways to burn off energy and gave me the idea to dig out some balloons. I don’t know which kid wouldn’t love playing with balloons and they are great throwing and catching practice for toddlers as they move slowly – and don’t smash up the house. You can also hit the dino with balloons. And they are fun to hit around with the ”sabre”, baseball style or hockey style.
And then there’s of course the good old classic, a hammering block. My son really likes his, and can hammer several rounds very systematically. Actually, I like to take a round too now and then. Maybe I should keep it on hand to canalize my aggression when I feel like yelling on the top of my lungs…
Any good ideas to redirect hitting? And please don’t tell me your kids never hit others!