In this counseling answer:
“I would kindly suggest to intervene whenever your child is aggressive by removing him from the playgroup, giving him a timeout and directly but gently holding his arm (with no pressure or harm) to prevent him from hitting you or others if you are nearby and see he is about to hit. Tell him “no” firmly. In an age-appropriate manner, explain to him what behaviors and actions are not acceptable, and what the consequences are.”
As-salamu alaykum ,
Thank you for writing in to our live session. As your child is very young, I kindly suggest you do not hit your child. Hitting your child only reinforces the behaviors you are trying to stop. Your child cannot cognitively connect the reason why you are hitting him, he only knows that you too, are hitting. Additionally, there may be repercussions from child protective services depending on where you live for hitting a two year old.
As far as “what went wrong” according to child experts on development, aggression at this age is a normal phase of development. “Primitive language skills, a fierce desire to become independent, and impulsiveness make kids this age prime candidates for getting physical.
Nadine Block, executive director of the Center for Effective Discipline in Columbus, Ohio states “Some degree of hitting and biting is completely normal, because 2-year-olds are so focused on ‘me’ and ‘mine, so while your 2-year-old’s behavior may embarrass and worry you — and it’s certainly not okay for him to hurt other kids — it doesn’t mean you’re raising a bully.
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By consistently letting your youngster know that aggressive behavior won’t cut it and showing him other ways to express his feelings, you can help him control himself and learn to get along with others. ” (1). I would kindly suggest to intervene whenever your child is aggressive by removing him from the playgroup, giving him timeout and directly but gently holding his arm (with no pressure or harm) to prevent him from hitting you or others if you are nearby and see he is about to hit.
Tell him “no” firmly. At an age-appropriate manner, explain to him what behaviors and actions are not acceptable, and what the consequences are. By being consistent in stopping his aggressive acts as well as rewarding him when you see positive behaviors, he will soon insha’Allah see a change in his behaviors. Consistency is important however so he develops an association between negative behaviors and consequences (time out) and good behaviors with praise. Insha’Allah examines his environment and try to correct anything which may be contributing to his aggression. Additionally, I would kindly suggest monitoring what he is watching on TV or any video’s he is playing (if you are not already).
Insha’Allah with consistency, consequences your son will outgrow this normal phase rather quickly. Raising healthy, kind children is a challenge at times, but with Allah’s help, as parents, we somehow make it through!
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.