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.