Some might not notice it, but children are actually very expressive about their feelings. Rather than showing it through words though, they tend to show it through their actions because they don’t have the vocabulary to say how they feel yet.
There’s a very high chance that a child would hit whenever he’s mad. While children have all the right to express his feelings, nobody ever has the right to hit anybody.
Obviously, it’s never okay to hit a child back whenever he hits anybody. While there may be logic in inflicting back the pain to show how much hitting hurts, this only shows the child that violence is okay. In other words, never ever hit a child whatever the reason is.
You’re probably asking what’s the best way to handle a child who hits when he gets mad. In situations like these, there’s no other way but to use words. As soon as a child hits you, firmly hold his hands and say “I know you’re mad but hitting is not the best way to express it. It hurts and I don’t like it”. Also make sure to say the words in a firm manner and to look your child straight in the eyes. This sends a message saying “I’m serious about this”.
Whenever your child start to get aggressive, make sure to point out that it’s his behavior you disapprove of and not him directly. Do not tell him not to get angry or that there’s no reason to be angry – this is unhealthy. Instead, acknowledge his feeling and even empathize with it. Show him that words are effective by letting him talk about how he feels and having you listen to it. An open communication like this allows the both of you to find the best solution to his problem.
Of course, you have should also show your child that violence is unacceptable. How can he learn that hitting is not okay when he sees you hit people or things when you’re mad? Parents are a child’s greatest model, so always be careful with your actions and always practice what you preach.