How can I stop my one-year-old twin girls from hitting each other?
My one-year-old twin girls seem to have trouble distinguishing clapping their hands together for fun and clobbering each other with a solid smack to the head. What's more, they seem to enjoy both hitting and receiving. How can I guide their behavior into a less dangerous form of "play"?
Parenting young children can be both exhilarating and exhausting. As their first and most important teacher, the pressure is constant to teach and guide them to do the right things.
When children are young and do not have full use of language, it is important to show and tell at the same time. When the twins reach out to one another, it is important to intervene and show them what “nice touch” looks like and feels like. Hold their arm and guide them to touch nicely and gently. In order to intervene and teach it will be vital to monitor the two of them closely when they are playing near one another.
Throughout the day, Preventive Teaching can be done by labeling “nice touch” and practicing. They can practice with you, with a stuffed animal and even with one another.
Don’t use a lot of words, but be consistent with your labeling and your expectations. Reward them for practicing and for using “nice touch”. Make a big deal out of it with clapping when they do well. Have them show others they know how to use “nice touch”. This is truly a teaching opportunity. Use it wisely.
Hopefully, you have found this answer to be helpful. For additional information or parenting support please don't hesitate to contact the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. Trained parenting counselors are available to provide the support and encouragement you might need to deal with this and other child rearing issues. In addition, you can review lots of written information at the Boys Town sponsored website of www.parenting.org.
Children need guidance in distinguishing acceptable from unacceptable behaviors. One-year-olds will hit, bite, push, and maybe even pinch in an attempt to test their limits. These behaviors are not acceptable forms of social interaction; therefore, parents need to respond in a serious but loving manner.
Long explanations and reasoning do not work with 1-year-old children. After an unacceptable behavior takes place, the best approach is to get to the child's level and look her in the eye. Then, with a serious facial expression and serious tone of voice, the parent needs to say "NO!"
If you child cries, or her chin starts to shake, you succeeded in getting the message across. You hurt your child's feelings by reprimanding her. If you are consistent and respond in the same way to "offensive" behaviors, your child will learn that such behaviors are not acceptable.
On the other hand, praise your child for acceptable behaviors. That will teach her what is expected of her and help prevent "offensive" behaviors.
Please read this article about Practicing Healthy Discipline :