The New Discipline Rules: Advice from Parent Coaches

My kid hits other kids on playdates.

Coach's Playbook

Cassani Adams: The next time your child hits someone, remove him from the situation right away and ask, "What can you do instead of hitting to get what you want? Can you use your words? Can you ask me for help?" If it continues, give him a time-out to cool down.

Dr. O'Brien: If your child is 2 or younger, take him aside and say, "Our rule is no hitting -- ever." If he's 3 or older, establish immediate consequences for hitting, such as taking away TV time. And have your child apologize right away to the person he hit.

Wolf: Get down on your child's level and say, "No. We don't hit. We use our words." If your child is at least 3, you can explain what he should have done differently. For instance, "In the future, you can ask your friend for a turn instead of hitting her and grabbing the toy."

DeMars: Help him put his feelings into words. Say something like, "I can tell you're really angry, but hitting won't solve anything." If his aggressive behavior continues, send him to another room and say, "If you don't stop hitting your friends, you won't be allowed to have playdates." And be prepared to follow through with your consequence.

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