What To Do When Your Toddler Hits His Playmate
For all the people who follows my blog, you really know that my main concern with Inigo is his aggressiveness. By this age of 31 months now, he is 97% out of his aggressive phase, sometimes there are still times that due to excitement or frustrations, he still hit or pull his playmate’s hair. The last time was around a week ago, where he was playing with his favorite playmate, Lexie. They were playing with sticks they found in the playground, Inigo left it and suddenly Lexie pick it up and she doesn’t want to give it back to Inigo, thus the pulling of hair. I saw that, because I was within 20 steps, I was just too confident that I let my guard off.
So what to do?
- Run to the situation and ask what happened while comforting the playmate that got hurt.
We need to ask what really happened so that we know what is the trigger. Once we know the situation, we can properly explain to our child what he did wrong, that it was painful and from that, we can extract a sincere apology from him.
- Let your child apologize and make them hug.
I really make it to a point that my child say sorry so he would know he was wrong and for the playmate to feel that it was a mistake and to make him/her feel better. Acknowledging that the other child is wrong makes the hurt one feelings validated. Another powerful tool is hugging to make them feel that it’s all okay now and a great reparation. Trust me, this is an effective way to make amends with the kids, a lot of situation that I have encountered, the apology and hug make the kids move on and continue playing
- Let your child play again but this time, be on guard.
I already tried isolating Inigo everytime he does something wrong and telling him that we will stop playing because he did hurt someone. Trust me in this one, IT DOESN’T HELP. Your child will only feel lonelier and it doesn’t really make them think of the consequences as much as you think they will. They will just sulk in the sadness, and that sadness adds up to their frustrations. So let him play again but be on guard because he might strike again. I let him play but I always remind him in a very loving ang gentle way that his hands are not for hurting.
- Look for the parent/guardian and apologize in behalf of your kid
When a child is hurt, so thus the parent, so it’s our responsibilities to say sorry. Even though it’s child’s play and what happened is unintentional or an accident, the parents need an apology. I always make sure that after making amends with the kids, I find the responsible caretaker, whether it’s the parents or the yaya, I say my sincerest apology. My son was also hurt by other kids and I know that feeling. As long as the parents are aware that their kid did wrong and making sure that the actions were not in vain, then I think any parents will be okay knowing that we are doing our best to correct our kids, because it’s our duty.
- Talk to him before sleeping.
I learned this from my sister in law, she always talks to her child before sleeping, all the good and bad things, they discuss. If good, she praises and if bad, instead of shaming the kids or telling him that what he/she did is bad, she tells her a better way of coping up. During the night, before we go to sleep, I remind Inigo that what he did is not nice, and that caused his playmate to cry and to never do that again. In the case of the sticks, I tell him instead of pulling her hair, he can tell her that those sticks were his and if she can not give it to him, he can always run to me and together, we can find new sticks.
- Do not LABEL YOUR KID OR ANY KIDS AS A BULLY.
Recently, I talked to some parents that are my friends and it’s common for them to use the word BULLY. I hate stereotyping as much as labeling the things that children do unintentionally. I told them that there are kids that were born as calm and there were kids that were born like mine, not a bully, but sometimes prone to aggressiveness when frustrated. In our in laws house, we do not LABEL BAD THINGS to our kids, because we believe with the power of the words. Anything you say to your kid, bad or good, will be imbibed until they grow up and unconsciously become what we say they are. Be careful with your words.
- Breathe in mommy, it will pass
I know the feeling, that you blame yourself and you feel that you did not do your best. But then mommy, it’s just a phase, so don’t fret. As long as we are proactively doing our best towards disciplining our child, then rest assured, everything will be okay.
Trust me, it’s been more than a year that Inigo has been in his aggressiveness stage, although we are not yet 100% out of this dark phase, we are 97% there! Slow progress is still a progress! Cheers mommy! We can do anything with love, patience and a lot of milktea!