Why does my toddler hit?

Why does my toddler hit?

Your usually friendly child has suddenly starting hitting people – yikes! To curb this behavior, you may want to try providing positive support when your child uses words, not hands, to communicate. Get more tips on how to help.

Has your otherwise friendly toddler suddenly started hitting people? Many children this age start communicating their feelings physically, partly as a way to get your attention and partly because their language skills are still limited.

Here's how to help curb the behavior:

  • Make a show of noticing when your child communicates without hitting. Positive rewards for acceptable behavior teach better than negative consequences for bad behavior.
  • Don't put your child into social situations when you know she's ready for a nap or too hungry to be calm.
  • Try to spend some time alone with your child each day so you can give him your full attention when you play together.
  • Hang in there! Soon your child will develop language skills that will help her communicate much more effectively.
Leave a comment *Mandatory text
I confirm I have written the entirety of the content and agree to the community guidelines and terms and conditions
  • Show comments

Thanks for the article

1/22/2016

Good points to note here. I notice mine does that when she is frustrated. Consistent messaging may help, that is our hope

Is it competition?

1/11/2016

My 2 year old daughter hits, but she only hits kids around the same age. Never bigger or smaller kids. Is this due to feelings of competition with kids the same size?

Hitting

11/25/2015

Will try these with our youngest daughter.

Hitting

Howellang 11/24/2015

My toddler hits us and we say no hit. It's very frustrating because she still hits us all.

good article

lil man 11/9/2015

My son hits this was very helpful

How to Help Your Child Through Night Terrors

Different from nightmares, night terrors can be a scary thing for everyone in the house. Use these tips to help console your little one when they strike.

Read more

Housework With Toddlers

Kids like to imitate their parents, so why not show your children how to help around the house? Easy, doable chores at this stage include dusting, watering plants, and sorting laundry. Get more ideas.

Read more

By

Suzanne Dixon, M.D., M.P.H.