Biting and hitting are obviously signs of aggression; but they are also signs of frustration. Words don’t come easily for toddlers below 2 years, and hitting may sometimes seem to be the only way they can express their frustrations. Parents should understand such behavior as a form of ‘communication’ and try to understand what is really going on in their children’s lives.
Here are some suggestions to help control your kids’ behavior:
- Stay Calm: Don’t respond with yelling and hitting your children – you will only exacerbate the situation.
- Avoid lectures: Toddlers are not capable of cognitively understanding the problem of hitting others. Firmly say “No bite!”
- Show them it hurts: Let your children know that it feels real bad when they act aggressively
- Teach them control: Show them alternative ways of dealing with their feelings – like talking them out or counting to ten before they break out
- Solve the problem: Separate the victim of biting/hitting from the situation. Administer proper first aid if required (see below). Don’t ask for explanations from the aggressor
- Be realistic and appreciative: Show faith in your children’s natural goodness and their ability to change for the better
- Clean the hurt area with soap and water Cover the area immediately with a sterile bandage
- If the child’s skin is broken, it is time to visit the doctor