Hitting And Fighting
We need to teach our children not to hurt other children. Hitting, slapping, pinching, scratching, shoving, knocking down, hair-pulling, and biting are all unacceptable behaviors. Clarify for your child "We don't hit. We don't hurt people." Disagreements are settled by talking, not hitting. If children do fight, respond swiftly.
- First: Intervene at the early shoving stage or when the hand is raised. Don't wait for injuries or screaming.
- Second: Separate the children without questioning them. It doesn't matter who you see doing the hitting when you come on the scene. That hitting could be a reaction to the previous blow.
- Third: Send both kids to time-out in separate rooms. Another option is to send one child outside. If your child's friend is aggressive at your house, time-out can consist of sending the friend home.
- Finally: Model the type of verbal problem-solving you want your child to use when he's angry. That means no spanking and no rough-handling.
If you have other questions about your child's behavior, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.