My Toddler Hits & It's Your Fault

kid is a hitter
I don't want to have to hit you
Ahh, pre-school. It’s the great equalizer, where your child is no longer the sole center of attention and instead must learn to get along with all types: the criers, the crazies, and the hitters. As my first child glided her way into pre-school, she navigated these waters quite successfully. So I had no idea that my youngest would turn out to be the terror of two-year-olds everywhere.

Yep, I have a hitter. I’ll admit to judging the hitters and the biters harshly when my first-born came into contact with their tiny fists and pointy teeth, but now that I have my own . . . well, I still judge. Only I’m judging your kids. Because I’m pretty sure with just a little effort on their part, my kid wouldn't be socking them in the arm.

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You see, one of the main reasons toddlers hit is because they don’t have the words to express their frustration when forced to share a toy car or an entire play structure. (Jeez, those toddlers can be a-holes about sharing, right?) But my kid totally has the words. In fact, when his teachers asked him to use his words he said, “I’m upset because I want that truck,” and promptly shoved a kid out of the way. In fact, the next report was that he explained to his teacher that a little girl who had bit the dust at his hands was too close to him, and it scared him so he had to push her down.

Clearly, this whole theory of being frustrated by a lack of vocabulary is wasted on my boy. So I’m thinking since this kid is so able to express his feelings, and the other kids are not, it must be their fault he resorts to hitting. You know, because if he could carry out a measured conversation like so, “Hi Jackson. I want the blue ball. If you don’t let me play with it, I might have to hit you.” And Jackson says, “Sorry Judah, I had it first. You can wait your turn, but I’d really appreciate it if you didn't lay your hands on me,” I’m pretty sure things would go swimmingly. What follows would surely be a negotiation that would be studied by Camp David attendees for years.

But at this stage he’s the only one talking. So come on, parents, get with the verbal program! If you just drill your child with phrases such as, “I’ll give up this spot in the sandbox if you assure me you will not throw sand in my hair,” and “Hey, we can both fit inside the wagon. Why not relax and forget about the hitting?” we’ll all be able to get along just fine.

Do you have a hitter?

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