How to deal with children hitting other children

What makes children hit other children

More often than not when I see children hitting other children it’s due to a social need.  For example they are cross with what the other child has said or done.  If this is the case then this is not acceptable and they must apologise.

Hitting other children is also one of the early ways that we learn to initiate communication with other children (you’ve got the red truck, I want to play with it, I’ll hit you and take the red truck).  If this is the case then it’s about teaching them the right way of initiating that conversation.

How to stop children hitting other children

Baby/toddler:
Make sure they say sorry.
When they are calm practice with them what they should do, use toys to practice.

Child:
Make sure they say sorry and ask for what they want.
When they are calm practice with them what they should do.
Teach them to walk away.

Teenager:
Make sure there are clear consequences in place.
It is not acceptable and therefore this (X) is the consequence.
Talk to them over time (not at the time) to work out what it is they are struggling with socially.
Teach them to walk away.

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