Sunday, November 18, 2012

My 3 year old is hitting.

Dear Kay,

I'm the mother of 2 my daughter 8 and my son 3 my daughter was much different then my son who is out of control. I will tell him not to do something he will continue to do it and yell at me. He will hit and spit we hate to go anywhere with him. I can stick him in time out and he will continue to get up and scream. I put him in a pre-school program for 2 hours a day it is the end of the second week he has been written up for spitting on a teacher and pushing a little boy. Then I was asked if i noticed he doesn't focus on anything. I feel I should pull him out already I'm at then end of my rope.


Dear Sofia:

Where has he learned that hitting will get him what he wants? Does someone hit him when he doesn't do what they want? Has he played with other children who hit?

He needs to get the message that hitting is not the way to go and the best way to get this across is to teach him to use his big boy words. I suggest getting children's books which focus upon appropriate social behaviors. I also suggest getting books and games which will teach him how to identify his feelings and what words will help him to express his feelings. This child is hitting because he is AFRAID. Children act out what they cannot express. Whether he is fearful of the other children or of not getting all the attention is not the point, he is feeling fear.

Also, check his routines. Routines need to be consistent as young children do not have a sense of time and routines (not schedules) provide them with a sense of security. Although I fully believe you can turn this around, you will not be able to turn this around in one day so expect it will take some time and let everyone know that you are working on it and appreciate their patience and support.

If after sometime, you think you cannot do this alone then by all means get him and you into some family counseling with a counselor who specializes in children ages 0-5. You do not want him going into kindergarten or elementary school and subjecting other children to this behavior.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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