Monday, November 7, 2011


Could you tell me what would cause a three year old to hit? People (including doctors) keeps saying shut up all the time even under his breath, and says no all the time, will not talk to strangers even people he has seen alot, he tells them to shutup also. What is up? Tom

Dear Tom:

Well children do not often develop behaviors they have not seen. They model what they see and hear. Sometimes however two and three year olds act out because they are frustrated. The may need more feeling words in their vocabulary to help them cope with life and interactions.

There are some great books which are all about feelings, have words and pictures. I suggest reading these to him and playing games with the pictures until he develops a wider range of emotional vocabulary. Working with puppets is another way of helping children develop coping mechanisms. Sometimes they will play out what is going on in their heads which we never would have guessed.

There are also children's books now which tell children what is appropriate behavior. I like the one which starts out hands are not for hitting, feet are not for kicking...etc.

You are the grandpa so reading these stories will catch his attention and have a bigger impact than they would even with mom or dad. He is lucky to have a grandpa who cares enough to ask!

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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