Posted in Parenting Culture

Phrases to tell your child to listen and not hit or kick.


Hi Everyone! So at school today my 3 year old told her teachers no when re-directing her. At home and school she sometimes hits and/or kicks when she's feeling angry or frustrated. I've used the phrases like "use your listening ears" "hands are not for hitting".."we dont kick people". "I don't like it when you (name action) please don't do that". What are some other phrases do you use or things you do so this doesn't escalate into anything worse?

  • Heather
    Dec 06, 2018

    We encourage choices with friendly reminders. Our two year old loves to be rewarded with high fives. Our older ones earn extra screen minutes or a break from chores.

  • Andrea
    Dec 07, 2018

    We use many of those same phrases. Sometimes they work better than others, but I do think that consistency is key, so we keep trying. Some additional ones in our repertoire include “Please remember to be kind” and “Remember to make good choices with your actions”. When the 4 year old starts to hit or kick in frustration, we’ll get him out of the situation for a cool down. Once he’s calm, one of the things we ask him is if hitting or kicking got him what he wanted. Almost without fail, he’ll answer no. And then we follow up with asking what he thought might have gotten him a better end result. When they’re calm and can think, they can usually come up with an appropriate answer - I should have asked why, I should have said I was mad, etc. It’s just in the moment that their thinking-brain turns off and they resort to Fight or Flight. It can be really frustrating, but I’m hoping we’ll get out of this phase soon. Good luck!

  • T
    Dec 07, 2018

    Hands are for loving is what I say.

  • Rachel
    Dec 07, 2018

    Daniel Tiger has a song take a deep breath and ask for help. I try to address the emotion that causes the behavior that way you are being proactive. With that said it doesn’t always work but my 3 year old tells my almost 2 year old to take a deep breath when he starts getting angry