Why It’s Actually Not So Bad:
Young kids express emotions through their bodies. So sometimes kids need to smash, pound or kick when they are engulfed in anger. Don’t try to stop that burst of energy – redirect it. “I know you’re mad, but I can’t let you hit me. You can hit the sofa.” Hitting and kicking a safe, appropriate target reinforces the idea that people are not for hitting, and can bring a child to calm.
Keep it Appropriate: Make sure you never let a child hit you. Moms and dads are not for hitting anymore than anyone else. Children feel terrible guilt and insecurity if they cross this boundary. Use a pillow, tree, sofa, or cardboard box.
Bad Behavior: Rejecting Playmates»