6 Peaceful Solutions for Hitting and Anger

While this Spring cold continues to work its way through our house, I wanted to share with readers today one of my favorite posts from the archives.  Originally written by Megan Tietz in June of 2009, there are some great suggestions here for helping our kids control their anger.  I think you’ll find it an article worth bookmarking, as I did when it was originally published.  – Kara

I have noticed that with my oldest daughter, the “half-age” mark generally brings with it some negative behaviors that we have not yet encountered.  For example, she was delightful at two, but two-and-a-half brought new meaning to the term “terrible toddlerhood” – there were many meltdowns and days of frustration for both of us.  Three was exciting and fun, but three-and-a-half introduced transition troubles and sibling rivalry angst.

Dacey is exactly four-and-a-half today, and true to form, we have had a new issue come up that we have not had to deal with yet – hitting. She never went through a hitting stage as a toddler, so this is all uncharted parenting territory for me.  Because I believe in the power of parenting as a community, I’ve been asking around and taking notes on what others are doing in response to the problem of preschoolers who hit.

Here are six of the most helpful suggestions I have found for hitting and other negative angry behaviors:

1. Hand Claps

My friend Corey is educated and trained in early childhood development, and she offered me this suggestion: Sometimes kids don’t know what to do with their hands when they want to hit, so  teaching them to clap their hands when they are angry gives them an outlet for the need to act out with their hands.  This serves the double purpose of alerting me to the fact that intervention might be needed in an upsetting situation.  The angry hand clap has actually been one of our most effective solutions.

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Simple As That: The Emergency Hug

Thank you all for your comments on Monday’s post.  If you haven’t taken a peek at the discussion going on over there, you really should.  Following my own advice, I decided to take a few things off of my own plate this week and so I’m re-running one of my favorite Simple Kids posts, written by Megan Tietz of Sorta Crunchy.  I think we could all use an Emergency Hug from time to time. – Kara

As you may have guessed from the article I wrote earlier this year on how to be intentional with touch, one of the primary ways I give and receive love is through affection.

I wanted to share something with you today that my mother created when we were children.  It’s so simple yet so effective when you need a time-out from the moment to reconnect with your child.  My mother called it “an emergency hug.”

I can remember when we were kids, my mom would just call to one of the four of us and say, “I need an emergency hug!”  We would stop whatever we were doing and run to my mother’s open arms. It is one of the sweetest memories of my childhood, and it’s something I’ve started doing with my own daughters.

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Compelling Reading for Every Parent: The Case for Make Believe

Several weeks ago, I received a copy of Susan Linn’s The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World to review for the Simple Kids readership.  I’ve been looking forward to sharing this book with you from the moment I read the first page.

Susan Linn is a psychologist, director and co-founder of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, and pioneer in the use of puppets as play therapy.  She has also written a book titled Consuming Kids.  As you can imagine, her philosophies and beliefs line up perfectly with the purpose of Simple Kids.

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