How to Get Your Kids to Stop Hitting

By Jean Tracy,
NW Author, Parent Newsletter

3 Discipline Suggestions for Conflicts without Hitting:

1. When the second child is born, the first feels dethroned. Riley was your “Child Queen” before Vance came along. Naturally, she’s jealous. Of course, you still need to give Riley special attention. But how do you stop her from hurting Vance? How can you give her attention, praise, and motivate her to treat Vance kindly?

Make Vance the source of Riley’s praise. Catch Riley being good when she is playing with Vance. “Riley, you’re playing ball so nicely with Vance.” Or “Riley, thank you for helping me dress Vance this morning.” Or “Riley, I like how you stopped Vance from fussing with your stuffed toy.”

You’ll need to “Catch her being good” often. You’ll be teaching her important social skills as you reshape her behavior with specific praise. Vance will love his older sister too.

2. Teaching Koen to stop punching his sister doesn’t have to be difficult but it’s crucial. Koen will grow up to be a physically strong male. If he gets away with hurting his sister now, how will he treat females later?

At your weekly family meetings, bring up the problem of punching. Hear both sides. Tell the kids to come up with 3 ways to treat each other with respect and act it out with the rules below:

Post These Rules for Solving Conflicts on the Refrigerator:

* Use few words
* Speak with a serious voice
* Look at each other directly
* Ask the other to act better by…(be specific)
* Take turns listening and speaking
* Act out a recent conflict to solve

Outside of family meetings, praise Koen and his sister when they solve conflicts without bragging and hitting.

If they still brag and hit, put them in Time Out. They must give each other permission to come out before either of them is free to go. Then tell them to use the rules for solving conflicts listed above.

1. When Sean and Kyler hit each other over TV programs you can use the rules above for Koen and his sister or consider this technique:

When the boys are in a good mood create a calendar chart and put their names on it for the days or hours they get to choose the TV program.

Now it’s time to give your ideas for kids who hit each other. The more solutions parents share the better.

Don’t miss our next blog about discipline and using the cell phone.

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