Hitting

by Gina
(PA)

My son is 6 and has a mild case of SPD and has been though OT, speech, etc. He has been doing a lot of hitting lately (in school, at home, even at a local play center). We have tried everything to get him to stop including talking to him about why it is wrong, taking away toys, time outs, etc.) but nothing seems to be working. What can we do to get him to stop?

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Oct 14, 2011
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ps-
by: Anonymous

another thought, if your son is motivated by money at all, we've had done this for car trips and travel but it would work at home as well. we've given our children say a roll of dimes and for every 10 or 20 minutes or however long you set that they can get along and not hit, they get to keep a dime for that 10 or 20 minutes. if not, they pay you a dime. if they have their money at the end of the day or say end of the day traveling they can spend it however they like. just a thought. :) but yes, filling up the candy jar is working for us at home. when it is full, he gets to choose two friends to take anywhere he wants to go, bowling, our for ice cream etc. because then he has proven that he can be kind to his brother so he earns a special play date with friends.

Oct 13, 2011
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by: Anonymous

Thanks for your advice. I'm not sure what is causing him to hit at school and his teacher doesn't seem to be able to figure it out either. At home, he hits his brother, who is 3, when he is bothering him or not playing the "right way." He is in 1st grade but was full day kindergarten last year so I don't think that's the problem. I liked your ideas for positive rewards. We have tried that but it wasn't specific to hitting, just being good in general so maybe we will try it just for keeping his hands to himself. Thanks again!

Oct 13, 2011
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Re: Hitting
by: Anonymous

my son has mild spd as well. hitting hasn't been an issue much until recently. you said your son is 6, did he just begin first grade this year? my son is 6 and he started all day school which has been a difficult adjustment for him. no so much in what he says to me about it, but more so in what i am noticing in his behaviors, his energy level, etc.

is it possible that he has a lot of bottled up energy right now so he's taking it out by hitting?

perhaps he would benefit from some short term social/play therapy? it's so important to set these boundaries with these kiddos and it can be so difficult to do some times. especially when they don't seem to respond consistently.

have you noticed what types of things, environments, times of day, etc. tip off the hitting? what is the sensory piece to the puzzle that he is acting out in hitting?

does he respond to positive reinforcement? for example, could you use a star chart or fill a jar with candies each time you see him being kind or say, not hitting for every half hour or hour that passes? with a reward of his choice at the end when the chart/jar is full?

my son is struggling right now with keeping his hands to himself pertaining to his little brother. we are trying to combat it with different ideas because the same thing doesn't always work. when he hits or is mean to his brother, he has to immediately do a service for him or to him, something nice. it can be make his bed for him, read him a book, teach him how to do something, get him a snack, find his toy, etc.

also, we have a photo book by the chill-out still (time-out stool) of pics of him and his brother getting along and all the things they enjoy doing together and so when he is on chill-out for being unkind, he can see that he really can be nice and enjoy and getting along with his sibling. seems a lot of the time that talking and trying to explain things don't have much impact. and so by example in a couple different ways, hopefully they can learn.

good luck. don't give up on him. he needs you to help him figure it out. :)

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