Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Post: What Should You Do When Your Child Hits?

The Semi-Organic Mom's Note:  Unfortunately, I don't really have a good answer for this question, so I apologize for misleading.  But hey, this isn't even my post!  It belongs to my friend Jay who attended the University of Florida with me back in the day.  Jay and I became parents right around the same time, and he is one of my nearest and dearest friends.  He has a gorgeous almost two-year-old and is one of the most devoted dads I know.  But right now, he's having some struggles...

My name is Jay. I am a proud single father of a daughter, Madison. She is very cute friggin adorable. For instance, if you ask her, “How old is Madi?” She will usually respond, “Almost Two!” Her mother and I share custody 50/50, I see her every weekend, and I enjoy almost every moment of it, with one exception…

Three weeks ago my sweet, sweet child hit me slapped me across the face. I was picking her up to take her to her room to change her diaper, and she slapped me. I was shocked. No, I was horrified. No, it was worse. I was both horrified and shocked! My darling angel was no longer darling nor an angel, but a hitter. I grabbed the hand that struck me and told her something along the lines of, “We don’t hit Daddy. That hurts Daddy. You need a time-out.” So, I stuck her in the corner and tried to come to terms with my little slugger.

Like most single parents I had one thought:  “This was something she must’ve learned from her mother.” Just like the term “French fries,” or her pointing at my television and saying, “Te-Te!?” or even running from the bath butt-naked and wet, repeatedly yelling “Naked Boo-ty!”  I thought this was yet another thing I would get to deal with. It was just one more of the many joys of being a single dad. (Side note, I watch maybe 5 hours of TV a week and eat drive-thru twice a month, and neither of those things have ever involved Madi.) Eventually, however, I learned the ugly truth. I was the first victim of hitting.

I was heartbroken; I know I’m not the perfect parent. I’ve been known to spank the dog for too slowly getting out of the kitchen, but I never hit out of anger.  The fact was, my kid got angry that I picked her up, and she hit me because of it. So, I did what any normal person under 35 would do.  I Googled “how to stop your child from hitting”. They offered all sorts of positive suggestions from stopping the hit before it starts, to telling the child not to hit because it hurts Daddy, and everything in between.

Dear reader, if you’ve stuck with me this far, I ask you this. Do you have any personal experience with this?  What are your tips and/or tricks for “how to stop your child from hitting”? Thank you.

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