Toddler Slaps

This summer has been so crazy, I feel like most of my posts have been simply highlighting our adventures and not really talking about the many developments going on in our lives.

Since our sweet babe’s birthday, she’s developed a little bit of a slapping problem. At her birthday, Charlotte crawled over to her baby friend who had just “stolen” her water bottle and gave him a whopping slap to the head. Thankfully, he quickly gave her a little tap back, because let’s be honest, she deserved it.

But really, I was pretty surprised and not totally sure what to do. I held her hand and said, “No, we don’t hit. Be gentle.” Or something along those lines. Since then, the slap has made quite a few appearances; however, mostly in a much more excited way (and seemingly not out of anger… or at least not as much).

Charlotte gets very excited about seeing someone or playing or whatever, and will wave both hands in the air and ends the gesture by slapping her raised paws onto the nearest person. While about 76% of me believes that she is not hitting maliciously in these moments and is just simply excited and unable to express that emotion, the act still leaves me feeling embarrassed and guilty towards whoever she’s just slapped.

We have been working hard on being “gentle” and I feel like in the past few days, we’ve made a bit of progress… but I will say, when I see my sweet girl start crawling quickly towards another baby, I get nervous.

Anyone else dealing with a similar issue? Thoughts? Advice?

12 thoughts on “Toddler Slaps

  1. We have a grabbing and choking problem in our house. Palmer always wants to grab or wrap her hands around other babies necks. I will usually let her go over and start interacting and as soon as I see her do something naughty, grab her hand and show her the proper way to play with others using “gentle hands”. It’s worked with showing her how to play with the dog but we’re still working on it with other kids.

  2. No advise… but I’m going through a similar thing with my 9 month old. Ha, ha. 🙂 He likes to slap faces of the adults holding him. (Not maliciously… It’s all because he’s excited. But it hurts just the same! Ha, ha). AND he loves to pull his mommy’s hair (which comes out in chunks thanks to post-partum hair loss). 😉 I usually grab his chunky wrist gently, look him in the eyes, and say, “Gentle, please.”
    And he laughs before reaching out and trying to pull my lips off of my face… 😉
    I’m hoping that if I keep holding his hands to stop him, that he’ll get the point. Ha, ha!

  3. Aha Parenting has some great tips and biological info on the smacking and violence lol. we get a different form of this…my toddler has been pretty sadistic from birth. as in, the more we said “ouch, that hurts” the more she did it, even saying “OUCH! HAHAHA” while doing the deed. we still narrate through it and know it’s a maturity/impulse-control/emotional regulation thing but damn. she will poke, pinch, bite, and smack us and love every second of it. then there’s the tantrummy leg kicks and arm swings. ah, children. though i have to say, sometimes when i’m cranky and caffeineless, i tend to not want to use my words either. :p

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