Some toddlers seem to strike out at the slightest provocation. At this age, kids have no impulse control. They may hit you, another caregiver or another child out of frustration, anger or just plain experimentation.

Whatever the reason, you’ll want to nip it in the bud.

Each time it happens, grasp your child’s hand and say, “No. We do not hit; hitting hurts.” You’ll need to be consistent about it.

If the hitting continues after your correction, follow through with a consequence, such as a short timeout—1 minute for each year of the child’s age.

Try praising your child when you see kind, gentle and cooperative behavior (positive reinforcement!), and offering alternatives when you see negative behavior: “I can see that you’re angry. Next time, instead of hitting, let’s try to use our words instead.”

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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