Q&A: How can I get my 11-month-old out of the hitting habit?
My 11-month-old son has a hitting problem. He is always hitting other people and me, too. What can I do to get him out of that habit?
Your son becomes a toddler after his first birthday, and he’s beginning to act like one!
Many of the negative behaviors that toddlers exhibit come out of a healthy desire to do and see and explore so much more than their physical and language abilities will allow. The result is supreme frustration, which, in a child who can’t talk it out, gets vented physically—hitting, biting, and, the old stand-by, temper tantrums.
First, make sure no one is getting hurt. Physically remove him from the situation if need be. Second, know that these behaviors usually improve as language skills develop, especially if he is encouraged to talk about how he is feeling. Third, know that any behavior that receives a lot of attention from an adult is reinforced, even if it is negative attention. Trying to ignore unwanted behavior is often the best approach. Be firm, say “no,” move him from the situation if necessary then move on to the next activity.