image001To most parents, an aggressive behavior shown by the child would seem as their failure to be good parents. The essential thing when confronted with such a situation that children hit parents is to keep calm. Lashing out is one of the behavioral disorders that young children have and it is pretty common. In order to put an end to this aggressive behavior of the child, it is necessary that measures are taken so that the child does not develop a habit of doing it.

Children Hitting Parents—Is It Normal?

The parents must know that physical aggression is a common yet natural problem faced by toddlers. Since the child is underage, he/she is unable to control himself/herself. He/She gives in to impulses of hitting people when he/she gets angry even if he/she knows that he/she is doing a wrong thing.

Young children are prone to lash out and start kicking or biting when they feel anxious. As they are still developing their communicative and social skills, they lack the ability to control and channelize their anger. Therefore, they resort to violence when they become frustrated.

Children Hitting Parents—Why?



Frustration and anger

Children don’t have the ability to channel their frustration and anger appropriately. Thus, they usually use their hands to hurt their parents when parents don’t allow them to do a certain task that they want to do. The reason why many children get angered and frustrated quickly is that they lack complete control on their surroundings.

Inability of communication

Most children resort to hitting their parents because they don’t have any other means of showing their frustration, as they can’t put their feelings into words. While elders can calm themselves down by expressing their frustrations and anger, the toddlers can’t do the same because they lack the verbal skills. As a result, they use other means to express their dislike such as hitting their parents and crying out loudly.


Children have a very little amount of self-control. With growing up already being a challenging and stressful task in itself, children usually lose all their self-control when they take the slightest of stresses. This is because something didn’t go the way they wanted like. For instance, they didn’t get the food on time or they didn’t get to throw the cell phone away. And when they lose self-control, they resort to hitting the people who they depend on.

Want to feel in control

Children are like all other human beings. they want to control what happens to them and what happens in their surroundings. While grown-ups can control certain aspects, almost everything remains out of the control of a child. As a result, children often resort to hitting in order to assert themselves and in order to feel that they are in control.

Need attention

Children crave the attention of their parents and usually try and get it in a positive manner. However, children aren’t afraid of getting the attention in a negative way if it gets them some attention at least. Parents usually react strongly when their children hit them or someone else. In this way, parents start to pay attention to their children.

What to Do with Children Hitting Parents

1. Redirect

You can redirect the child’s anger by giving him/her a different outlet to channelize his/her anger and frustration. For some children, a punching bag works best, while some children calm down after punching a doll or a stuffed animal. It isn’t a bad idea to draw out pictures of everyone in the family and to hand over the pictures to the child so that he can expend his/her fury on the picture of whoever is making him/her angry.

2. Review the Incident

Once the child has hit you, it remains a good idea to talk it out with your child after some time. You should review what the child did, point out what he/she shouldn’t have done and then agree on what the child should do once he/she gets angry the next time. The next time when your child starts to feel angry and try to hit you, you can remind him/her of your conversation and tell him/her the options he/she can use to expend his/her rage.

3. Teach Communication Through Language

Your child won’t resort to hitting you if he/she can express feelings in words. Therefore, teaching him/her how to express himself/herself when angry can help tone down the hitting. You should teach the child sentences such as “I am very angry at the moment” to directly express their emotions.

4. Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings

Telling your child that you understand him/her can go a long way to calm him/her down. Once you would say that you understand what he/she is going through and why he/she is angry, the child should calm down a bit.

5. Teach Them That Hitting Is Wrong

It is obvious that the child resorts to hitting because he/she loses self-control, but usually children don’t know that hitting people is wrong. Sternly tell the child by stopping him/her from hitting, which can let him/her know that hitting isn’t the right way to go about things.

6. Be a Good Role Model

If the child would see you hitting or spanking him/her or any other child, the child would consider violence a good tactic automatically. If one of your children is very violent, then it remains a good idea that if you want to spank one of his brothers, you shouldn’t do it in front of him/her.

7. Limit Exposure to Aggression

You should expose your children to as little of violence and aggression as possible. Limit your children to cartoons that show aggressive behavior, television shows where violence is portrayed, violent video games and aggressive movies.

8. Spend More Touch Time

In order to teach your children that they can use their hands in a gentler and tender manner, you should try to hold and snuggle your children whenever you are with them and should give them a baby massage time.

If you want to know more about simple techniques that could stop your child from hitting you, you can watch the video below:

How to Prevent Children Hitting Parents

You can create a set of rules for everyone in the household that nobody would kick, bite or hit anybody else. You should let your aggressive children know this as well and should also tell him/her as to what would happen if anyone breaks these rules.

You should warn your children that if they resort to hitting or biting, then they would be punished with either a timeout or with taking away their toys for a certain time. This would deter children from repeating their violent actions a bit.

You can also try and help your children in managing their anger by motivating them to draw a picture or take a nap or anything else that calms them down as soon as they start to get angry.

More Tips on Children Hitting Parents



Avoid spanking

It is generally bad practice to actually spank the children in order to punish them, as it would reassert to the children that hitting isn’t wrong. Thus, you should avoid spanking your children as a punishment.

Identify the trigger

You should try and identify the pattern and the trigger that starts to make your children angry and then move in to address the issue. Usual triggers include hunger, boredom, an addition to the family or a family loss.

Teach alternative gestures

Your children would sometimes resort to hitting to get your attention. You can teach your children to gain your attention in a more pleasing way. For instance, you can teach them alternative gestures that can help them get your attention.

Make a game out of it

Children require the usage of their hands to communicate with you. You can make that communication a lot more fun by turning their tendency of slapping you into a funnier one such as getting a high-five.