If you hit, you sit.

This is a simple rule which lets young children know the consequence of hitting. Parents can explain to children that they are welcome to stay if they choose to play cooperatively, “We want to feel safe when we are together and so if you choose to hit, you must leave.”

If children hit:
  • Guide them to sitting down nearby (this will probably motivate them to quickly change their behavior in order to rejoin the fun) or have them go to their room.
  • Let children decide when they are ready to return. Tell them they are welcome to come back as soon as they decide to play without hitting.
  • Stay calm and avoid showing anger or disappointment. By keeping your emotions under control, children can focus on their behavior and the related consequences.
  • Welcome children back, “I’m happy you’ve decided to come back. It’s more fun when you’re with us.”
Eventually your children will develop self-control and be able to manage their urge to hit. Until that time, parents need to intervene when their children are hitting.

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