Hit a guy on your butt on purpose

Why do you mind when your child hits you?

Why do you mind when your child hits you?

If you tell a friend that your toddler is beating you and she asks why you are bothered, what do you do? Do you think she is crazy How can she ask such a thing, it's clear why you bother, right? You don't do that! I don't want to be hit!

I invite you to actually rethink your why. It involves a great opportunity for the relationship with your child.


When toddlers hit: the chance in times of crisis

Since this article is so polarizing on Facebook, I would like to make it clear: This article is not an invitation to hit - it is an invitation to pause. It is about toddlers and their developmentally limited possibilities to deal with certain emotions. And it's about our own automatisms. Anyone who automatically says: "I don't want my child to hit me." May prevent looking at what the child needs at the moment it hits - or what the motivation behind it is.

Of course, we do not want to be hit and teaching our toddlers that hitting is uncomfortable for others and that it crosses the boundaries of others is important and right. (But it is at least as important to allow aggression and anger if you believe Jesper Juul in this article.) My article is about a mother who saw no way out. Who has already explained all this and more to her child - as described in the first paragraph of the article.

The article shows ways of dealing with the behavior and resolving the conflict when we feel at a loss to see no way out. Then a change of perspective can mean new scope, it can give hope and make solutions possible. Because what do we do when we explain, make an effort, and the toddler still hits? Because there is no other way. This is exactly where the article should start. Because that we use violence against the child in order to bring about a desired behavior is absolutely unacceptable.

Of course, I can and should make it clear to my toddler that I don't want to be hit, that it hurts me! Absolutely! It is not intended to be a fundamental discussion, but an invitation to take a second look. So that the moment is really about the child and not about what I believe or think.

I've tried everything, it just doesn't stop!

“I don't know how to react anymore,” says P., who sits in front of me tired. "I've tried everything. Sometimes I didn't react at all, then I said ouch, held her hands, looked at her strictly and said "Stop". Then I tried to explain myself and yelled at her several times because I just didn't know what to do. My voice cracked. Once I couldn't speak calmly anymore. I threatened to only speak to her in if-then sentences. I was on the verge of simply striking back. Out of sheer helplessness. "

She sighs. Me too. I know that.

A few months ago P. had the problem with her daughter. It was then that the girl began to hit her mom when something did not suit her. Now, shortly after her third birthday, P. is confronted with it again.

"Stop hitting me!"

"Why are you hitting me?"

"What's wrong with you?"

"What you are doing there makes mom so sad!"

Toys fly through the air, the child screams and lashes out

She describes a typical scene for me: you and your daughter are playing. She misunderstands her daughter and plays “wrong”. Or nothing really happens, P. sees no reason at all and yet the toy flies through the room. Promptly the child screams shrilly and incredibly loud, gets angry and hits the mother out of sheer anger. If P. backs away, her daughter goes one step further and hits her again.

Sometimes it also happens when your daughter is playing with her dad or grandparents. Things fly through the air, child screams hysterically, runs to mom, hits.

“I am now quite comfortable with myself in many situations and can accompany my daughter, even if it is difficult for me at times. But in order to I can't handle it. I am completely overwhelmed, ”my friend continues to tell me.

I don't understand: why are you hitting me?

P. is going through a difficult time, which is already taking all of your nerves and patience. It is probably bad luck that this now goes hand in hand with a challenging "phase" in the development of your daughter. Or the child with its fine antennae, which is still in contact with its own emotional world and that of its environment, senses that mom is burdened. That there is an uncomfortable feeling in the air, that something is different.

P. feels powerless. She doesn't want to be hit by her child.

"When I tell my daughter that there was no reason to be angry, she just screams louder," says P. "Sometimes I tell her that you think her behavior is funny. That I don't understand what's wrong with her. ”I swallow. P. notices this and tells me that she actually knows that she is denying the feelings of her child with her behavior. She also knows that her daughter needs her understanding, her support, her being there.

But she just doesn't always make it. Not in these situations.

We have to protect ourselves from the judgments of others in order to be able to really act authentically

Sometimes P.'s mother is present when her daughter has a tantrum. Sometimes her sister, sometimes even her mother-in-law. She feels the looks on her neck that say: “It doesn't work!”, Or: “The child must know his place!”, Or: “If you don't do anything here, your child will beat you when it gets older is! It has to learn respect! "

I listen to her and can understand her well: It is more and more difficult to stick to ourselves and our values ​​when we know very well that these are what are being judged and condemned. Here it would be important to bring ourselves and our child "to safety" so that we can react as we really want, from the depths of our heart and in harmony with our convictions.

But that doesn't always work.

Because of my “lax upbringing”, I was even once reprimanded with a simple: “That's sad.” When I explained that I personally don't care if my daughter leans her knees on the dining table. But, you know what? I really don't care. If someone sees it differently, they are welcome to explain to my daughter why they have a problem with it. She'll tell him what she thinks of it and stop leaning her knees if she wants.

Why do you mind when your child hits you? "You do not do that!"

Then I ask P: "Why do you mind when your daughter hits you?"

She is taken aback. In her look I can see that she must be very surprised at me for a moment. “What kind of question is that?” She would like to say. But she doesn't say it. Instead, she ponders.

She thinks about it because my topics and approaches are not new to her. She very consciously deals with alternatives to traditional upbringing and lovingly accompanies her child on its way.

Then she has to smile and says: “Well, because I does not want to be beaten. And because you just don't do that. You don't hit your mom. ”Now we both smile. Looks, feels caught, because she knows exactly: There he is again, the "one" who always reports when we forget to critically question our own beliefs. Small children often do not hit out of spite, but because they are simply overwhelmed. This is not a personal attack on the mother. It's a cry for help.

“While children who withdraw into themselves are usually praised for their“ socially appropriate ”behavior, children who want to reveal their pain through the feeling of loss of values ​​through the strategy of“ being difficult ”usually receive harsh criticism. As a result, they experience themselves as even less valuable and act out this pain even more strongly - a vicious circle that can only be broken by adults. " Off When the child aggressively hits, kicks and bites parents

This "man" is quite a fool. And boring.

The "one" who does or doesn't do a lot of things, simply because someone once said that this has to be the case, is quite a fool. He's boring, wants to lump everything and everyone together and worst of all: He's absolutely unreflective, a shoe we parents shouldn't put on under any circumstances.

“Man” is like an ugly, blue-dotted hospital gown that is simply slipped over us - whether we want it or not. Only then can I look at myself and decide that I really want to change because the smock feels poop. Because it doesn't suit me. And because it's open at the back and everyone can see my bottom.

The smock is drawn to us by the experiences and traumas of our own childhood. Our own upbringing is awakened again when we become parents. The emancipation from patterns, thoughts and supposed knowledge that is so deep does not happen by itself. These learned automatisms cannot simply be thrown off. It takes a lot of effort to squeeze out of the tight corset, which at first seems so airy.

Look behind the behavior, see the need!

After we have unmasked the "man", we continue to research together. I ask P. if it hurts when her daughter goes away. She shrugs her shoulders: No, not really, she's still so small. P. thinks for a long time.

The fact remains: P. learned himself that you just don't hit his parents. It's just not proper, she doesn't want it.

Hitting is bad.

If we put these thoughts, which are so deeply rooted, aside, it opens up a view of the child and his needs.

What is completely left out of all considerations (“You don't do it!” And “I don't want this”) are the needs of the child. Something is there, something disturbs, has to go. Our toddler just can't handle any feeling or mood. So it chooses from the options it already has.

It's about the child. The toddler who is not yet able to act differently. It has a problem and it's our job to be there. We don't even have to help if we don't know how. Nor do children have to be happy every second, at any cost. We can allow anger, anger, sadness and all - supposedly - negative feelings to be experienced by our child.

We should.

“Children don't hit because they're bad. Children also do not hit because of loving company. By always looking only at behavior, we forget to focus on the underlying needs. And by subtly giving parents to understand that they are too lax in their upbringing, we form a culture of upbringing that is based on disrespectful authority, we leave behind unsettled parents and "diagnose" children. "6 reasons why small children hit you

So what to do

What would happen if you just let your child's anger go? When you really look, you are there even though it is uncomfortable. What if you hold out both palms of your hands to your child and let them hit it until the energies that have built up for whatever reason have been released.

Allow. To be there. Accompany.

So much in our head says: No! That is not possible. The child has to learn that ... You may be right, and explaining in a quiet minute how you feel about it is certainly essential. But in there is no learning in the situation.

"Yes," says P. here. “My daughter has already taken over some things for herself that I threw at her. When I ask her in a quiet minute what is wrong with her, why she is beating me, she starts to sob and says, “I don't know myself, mom. Something is strange with me. "

I don't know how you are with all these lines. I just know that I don't want to convey to my child: You are wrong. Your feelings are wrong And I know that it is not an option for me to use violence against my child myself in order to enforce not beating.

Even if that is uncomfortable for me. For my ego, because obviously I don't want to be hit. But if I stick to myself and my (justified) desires, I may fail to look at my child and his needs. And that just lacks the necessary skills to react differently. It has simply not yet learned that in terms of developmental psychology.

Holding up your hands, allowing hitting and screaming and not saying: “Stop screaming!” Can significantly change the outcome of a situation that is already there. I don't have to be passive, I can take the negative energy and try to transform it into positive. “Show me how angry you are! What, so angry? ”I can say. Maybe we'll even start laughing together if we manage to resolve the situation with “Oh wow, you're strong!” Or “What, can you scream that loud? But something really annoyed you! ”. We stay in relationship, don't cut ourselves off. Negative feelings have space, can be there and go again when they have been lived.

There is nothing separating.

(One more postscript: Anyone who thinks holding out their hands would teach children to always be allowed to act out violence against other people can also use a pillow. It's about allowing emotions. Suppression makes you sick! Since toddlers have no bad intentions, is their behavior is not violent per se. But that's probably another topic again.)

We teach our children to live emotions, but we pretend to be ourselves.

P. is going through a difficult time - regardless of her daughter's emotional world. “I suppose you are trying to keep your grief off your daughter? To be strong in front of her? ”I ask. P. nods. She tries to be in control, even if her feelings almost bring her to her knees. When her eyes fill with tears and her child is nearby, she turns away for a moment. She “pulls herself together” and only then does she turn back to her daughter. Now you can continue playing.

How authentic are we when, for fear of showing weakness to our children, we are not at all in harmony with what we are feeling?

Our children are allowed to us real experience.

You can and should witness that we too go through times that demand a lot from us. You can also experience how we deal with challenges, overcome them, fight and grow.


If you've read this far, I can tell you that my friend "P." doesn't exist. That I wasn't the critical interlocutor who invites you to change your perspective. It was the wonderful Sandra Teml-Jetter, family companion and woman behind the appreciation zone, to whom I am so incredibly grateful. For their inspiration, the conversations and their friendship.

I hope, dear reader, that you were able to take something for yourself from these lines. If you've read all of this article, you may find yourself in a similar difficult situation right now. Even though you might shake your head at the thought of your child just hitting themI would like to invite you to try it out and see how you can shape and solve the now together.

What do you do when your toddler hits you?

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Related topics on Mini and Me:

  • "Mom, don't scream!" - How we manage to treat our children lovingly even in difficult situations (and 5 alternatives to screaming)
  • "Mom, do you see me?" - How we unconsciously deny our children's feelings and the easy way to stop
  • Upbringing: where is the feeling? The limits of attachment parenting, naughty and co. (And about your own paths and true encounters)
  • Defiant phase: How we can accompany our children through anger and learn something important about ourselves (without penalties, threats and consequences)
  • Comforting children: "Have you hurt yourself?" - By perceiving and verbalizing pain
  • Good Enough Parenting: Why Not Wanting To Be Perfect Is Important (And 9 Tips To Help Parents Be Less Stressful)
  • I don't give a damn about consistency! - About "finding yourself" as a mom and the stony path to get there
  • "Mom, I'm shy!" - Why it is so important to accompany our child when they need us

Text: Mini and Me e.U .; Photo credits: Fotolia

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