How do I get my kids to stop hitting each other?

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Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

I just wanted to add my thoughts.

As a parent, we do not like to spank our kids as a punishment. We'll use time-outs and direct and immediate correction when misbehavior is observed.

I can't say we never spanked a bottom; but, it was long ago and so rare. In fact, I hated doing it, it really did not seem an affective nor positive way to correct a child's misbehavior. So we just never really adopted that technique.

The general rule was hitting one another was simply never condoned in our house by kids or adults. There were swift time-outs if it did happen. Following the time-out, we required them to verbalize what they did wrong (hitting) with a sincere apology with eye contact. Then they had to give a big long hug while saying they were sorry and that they loved each other very much. Sticking to this really made our children understand the love they have for each other and that it is hurtful to hit and [be] hurtful.

By teaching our children respect for others and how to be loving to each other, our children have developed such a deep love and bond toward us and amongst themselves. I can see it in everything they do. Here is one of my most favorite pictures of my oldest son with my youngest son just watching a movie together.

So what I'm saying is that if kids are used to expressing love for each other and also understand that hitting is hurtful and not appropriate, they genuinely feel bad when and if they actually hit someone and eventually will stop doing it.

Thomas Zerbarini

How do I get my kids to stop hitting each other?

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