Hitting behaviors

My daughter is 20 months and in daycare (which is fortunately open). The teachers called me this week to tell me that she’s been hitting other kids. I feel terrible, but since she’s my only child and we haven’t been getting together for playdates due to covid, I haven’t really seen it myself. I didn’t know what to say to the teachers and I just feel bad that my baby is hitting other kids. Any advice?

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sorry you’re going through this. Its also hard because its not happening with you. Maybe you can practice with some stuffed animals-like how to do gentle nice touching and that hitting hurts?

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love the idea of practicing with stuff animals. Also, also ask the teachers if there are specific things that trigger the hitting. Sometimes its difficult for this age to communicate and hitting is a way to get a reaction for something they want. This is very common so don’t beat yourself up about it.

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Great suggestions here. @Drkarenweiss do you have any tips?
@AlyssaCSLP @SLPHalley any thoughts on language skills associated with hitting?

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Hi Momma,
It’s never easy getting call like this from school as specially that you are not seeing this at home.
It’s actually very very common at this age to hit it’s a way of communicating. Children at this age don’t always have all their words to express what they want to say as specially when they are frustrated.
My best advice as a mom and school director is to roll model good behavior use very very simple worlds like
Hitting hurts it hurts the teddy when we hit. You can also roll play with animals or dolls how to take turns and share different toys.
I hope this helps a little and remember you are not in this alone and hopefully it’s a stage she will get over really soon.

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great suggestion. thanks!

I’m going to ask. thanks for responding :hearts:

I feel much better hearing that this is normal-I really have been so worried. Love the role playing idea and really appreciate knowing your perspective as a school director. Thank you! I’m going to try your tips

You are definitely not alone! My son had a real problem with hitting (and tackling :grimacing:) other kids when he was 2. Like everyone else mentioned, role playing does seem to be a good idea.

The only other thing I would encourage you to do is to talk with the teacher about the circumstances surrounding the hitting. If there is an antecedent that usually results in your daughter hitting another child then the teacher and other adults in the room may be able to work proactively to prevent some of these situations. For my son, we realized that when the environment became a little chaotic, he became more aggressive. Remember, young kids have difficulty not only naming and expressing feelings, but also regulating their emotions. It may be worth looking into… Hang in there! :blush: