Practical Tips on How to Stop Toddler Hitting Others or Themselves

By Last Updated: October 7th, 2023Categories: Parental Control

Raising two sons alone wasn’t easy. It’s full of fun, love, and craziness. Their development stage is different. Thus, I can’t discipline my youngest the same way as my eldest. The eldest was able to express himself in words as early as 1-year-old. But my youngest can hardly talk until he is three.

How I Stop My Toddler Hitting Me & Himself

Every time my youngest gets mad, he would hit us. Since we prohibited him from doing so, he then resorted to hitting his head multiple times on the concrete wall.

That’s an eye-opener for me to seek help from other moms too. Done dealing with a toddler hitting mommy. Now, it’s how to stop a toddler from hitting himself. After checking out from other parents, I’m glad I understood him better. Toddlers hitting others or themselves really happens. And it’s up to parents or caregivers to help them control themselves.

Effectively Stop Toddler Hitting Others

Tips to Effectively Stop Toddler Hitting

Understanding our child’s behavior and growth development better is a plus point for us to train them to stop hitting. Not all of these are effective for your child. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide which one will work in the meantime. Don’t be afraid to take a field test. Because sometimes, what works fine for your toddler today won’t do in the next few days.

Tip #1: Assess Their Need

First, check if your toddler is sleepy or hungry. Maybe he/she wants playtime/cuddle time or your attention. Sometimes, a toddler hitting others or themself wants something but can’t say it. Though mostly out of frustration because he can’t make a tower of blocks. Try to know what that really is with TLC – Tender Loving Care.

Tips to Effectively Stop Toddler Hitting

Tip #2: Plenty of Patience

If your toddler’s hitting you for the first or second time, you can let it pass. But more than that, you need to train him/her not to. Though, you mustn’t hit your toddler back. Calmly talk to him/her with a gentle hug. If the toddler is violently strong, try to restrain the toddler without hurting him/her physically. No matter how difficult that is, let your toddler calm down using tons of patience and time. Never snap at your toddler.

Tip #3: Correct a Toddler at a Proper Time

At most, your toddler can never comprehend anything that you teach when he/she is at the peak of emotions. Hence, telling them that hitting isn’t right is useless. Parents’ experiences of talking to their wild toddlers vary. Some calm down immediately while others won’t. Once the toddlers are done pouring out their emotions, they become logical and can comprehend your corrections well.

Tip #4: Never Tolerate Toddler Hitting

To stop an 18-month old or 2-year-old from hitting, don’t tolerate them by laughing or so. Some would say “No” and laugh at toddlers hitting. Then the toddler would think that it’s funny and alright to hit others. Talk to your family or caregiver about doing a uniform strategy to stop hitting. Have eye contact to show you’re not joking but in a tranquil voice. In short, you’re not shouting and not friendly at the same time.

Tip #5: Monitor Toddler’s Screen Time

When my sons were between 1 and 3 years old, I prohibited them to watch wrestling and violent cartoons such as Tom & Jerry. I’ve observed that they would imitate what Tom and Jerry were doing. It would be a lot of fun at first, but sometimes the ending is a scar or bruise.

Nowadays, toddlers are more into watching youtube videos which can be potentially harmful without parental control. Block inappropriate sites on your child’s device as needed. Also, check your child’s video games to prevent addiction.

Tip #6: Don’t Demoralize Toddlers

Some toddlers would hit others or show their exhibitions if you have visitors or if you’re in public places. No matter how hard this can be, do not shame them publicly. Never think about what other strangers will say about you. Deal with the situation once you get home.

Tip #7: Let Them Express Their Feelings

Even adults suffer a lot once feelings are being suppressed. Likewise, toddlers need to let their feelings out. We can help them learn to do it properly. You may opt to let the toddlers hit a pillow or bite something clean if they’re angry. Just not the people around or themselves. Or toddlers can have the “me-time” while feeling sad. Also, physical activity can let out their negative feelings. You can walk out together to the park or playground.

Never Tolerate Toddler Hitting

Tip #8: Be a Safety Patroller Between Your Toddler & Others

This toddler hitting episode comes with a warning. Parents or caregivers should better anticipate it. Before it happens, gently catch his/her arm without saying anything. Closely guard your toddler and others. This may lead to wailing and tantrums. But that’s a better way to let out the negative vibes than hitting others.

Friendly Reminder: Also, you must be vigilant for signs of child predators and pedophiles. To protect your toddler from any form of child abuse.

Tip #9: Understand that Toddlers Don’t Have Self-control

At this age, toddlers hitting others may have a reason or none at all. They simply don’t have the sense of self-control yet. Toddler hitting impulse happens even when they’re happy, bored, or so. And some research says they wanted to test your limits.

Tip #10: When to Seek Professional Help

It’s true that it’s normal for toddlers 18 months up to 3 years old to hit others or themself. But if your toddler’s aggression is too much to handle for the parents and caregivers, maybe you should consider seeking professional help. A child development expert can be very helpful in pointing out specific trait issues they may face and how to deal with them effectively.

Don’t Demoralize Toddlers

Tip #11: Restrict All Violent Content from Phone & Tablets for Toddlers

This violent content online affects the toddler’s behaviors. Therefore, you should block all violent content materials on websites, apps, and games using a reliable Parental Control App like mSpy. Using mSpy Website and App Blocker features, you can help provide a child-friendly online environment to your toddlers. Thus preventing violent mediums from influencing them and stopping toddler hitting.

For bloody phone games, PG-13 movies and TV series, and violent content like YouTube, and TikTok videos, block all of them from your toddler’s device. They’re at the age of imitating from everything they see.

So, activate mSpy and stop them from watching any inappropriate content.


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Final Words

At present, we don’t recommend hitting or spanking toddlers. Studies say these kinds of discipline tend to result in more violent retaliation. Meaning, this would make toddlers hitting persist, not resolve it as well as the tantrum habits. So never get tired to understand toddlers as they grow and develop their personal habits.

Frequently Asked Questions

The toddler hitting stage would ideally last for about a month or two according to experts. It can start as early as 18 months old or later than 2 years of age. But if not corrected properly, the hitting habit might get worse. So in order to avoid that, deal with the issue immediately.

Toddlers tend to show what they truly feel to their moms because they fully trust them. They are comfortable making their mother their hit-absorber without inhibitions. Toddlers have an instinct that their mommy would decipher what they truly need through their hitting and ill behavior.