Year Three – Post 3 | Help! He bites, hits, kicks and the list goes on!
Biting, hitting, kicking, pulling, pushing and grabbing are considered normal behavior until your child is two years old. Your child’s impulses are quickly acted upon and he has limited language to express his wishes or concerns. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should ignore this behavior.
It is important that your child understand what acceptable social behavior is. After all, you are the one that has to teach this concept. It is not natural…it is learned behavior. Empathy and compassion develop slowly and they are learned skills. Your child may kick you one minute but offer you her “blankee” the next minute if you are tired or ill.
Around the age of four, your child is getting a better grasp of being concerned for others. By six years of age, they want to “fit in” with their friends and so they have learned what works and what doesn’t socially. They are still developing a conscious and therefore they may tell a fib or “forget” that they were responsible for one of their chores. It is important that you as a parent let them know that what they did wasn’t right, but still allow an openness that doesn’t create fear so that they don’t develop a habit of lying, cheating, or stealing. If the punishment is so severe (i.e., it doesn’t fit the crime), your child may risk lying to prevent the severe punishment.
The second book in the My Baby Compass series provides helpful advice for mommies and daddies dealing with child behavior. If your child continues to be aggressive or he doesn’t interact with his peers after the age of three, you should address these concerns with your health care provider.
– Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series