When a 5-year-old hits their parent, it can be a challenging situation to navigate. The parent may feel hurt, angry, or frustrated, and may not know how to respond in a positive way. It is important to remember that hitting is a normal part of a child’s development, and that it is the parent’s role to teach them more appropriate ways to express themselves.

Positive parenting solutions can help parents respond to hitting in a way that promotes healthy communication and teaches children how to manage their emotions. This may include setting clear boundaries and consequences, using positive reinforcement for good behavior, and modeling respectful communication and conflict resolution skills. It is important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding, and to avoid using physical punishment or harsh language, which can be damaging to the parent-child relationship.

Understanding the Behavior

When a child hits someone, it can be upsetting and confusing for the parent. It’s important to understand why children hit and how to respond positively. In this section, we will explore why children hit and when to be concerned.

Why Do Children Hit?

Children hit for a variety of reasons. They may hit out of frustration, anger, or fear. Toddlers may hit because they don’t yet have the vocabulary to express their emotions. Biting and hitting are common behaviors in young children, but they can be especially challenging for parents to deal with.

When children hit, it’s important to stay calm and not punish them. Punishment can make the child feel worse and may lead to more hitting in the future. Instead, parents should focus on teaching their child positive ways to express their emotions.

When to Be Concerned

While hitting is a common behavior in young children, there are times when it may be a cause for concern. If a child is hitting or biting frequently and aggressively, it may be a sign of a larger problem. Parents should also be concerned if their child is hitting or biting other children at school or during playdates.

If a child’s hitting or biting behavior is causing harm to others, it’s important to set clear boundaries and consequences. Parents should also work with their child to develop anger management skills and teach them to communicate their emotions in a positive way.

Positive Parenting Tips

Here are some positive parenting tips for dealing with hitting behavior:

  • Stay calm and remain in control of your emotions.
  • Listen to your child and try to understand their feelings.
  • Empathize with your child and help them understand the impact of their actions.
  • Teach your child alternative ways to express their emotions, such as taking deep breaths or using words to communicate.
  • Use positive discipline strategies, such as time-outs or taking away privileges.
  • Set clear boundaries and consequences for hitting or biting behavior.
  • Encourage positive play and social interactions with other children.
  • Seek help from experts if the hitting behavior is persistent and aggressive.

By using positive parenting techniques, parents can help their child learn to express their emotions in a healthy and respectful way, leading to a happier home for everyone.

Positive Parenting Solutions

When a 5-year-old hits a parent, it can be a frustrating and challenging experience for both parties involved. Positive parenting solutions can help parents navigate this situation in a way that promotes healthier communication, stronger relationships, and happier homes.

What Not to Do

One of the most important things to remember when dealing with a child hitting a parent is to avoid reacting with physical punishment. Spanking or slapping a child can cause physical and emotional harm, and it does not teach the child how to manage their emotions or communicate effectively.

Additionally, it is crucial not to react with aggression or anger towards the child. This can cause the child to feel unsafe and lead to further outbursts or tantrums.

What to Do Instead

Instead of reacting with physical punishment or anger, parents can use positive parenting strategies to help their child learn impulse control and appropriate behavior. One effective strategy is to address the behavior and its consequences calmly and firmly.

For example, if a child hits a parent, the parent can say something like, “I cannot let you hit me because it hurts. If you hit me again, I will need to take a time-in where we can talk about what happened and how we can solve the problem together.”

Taking a time-in instead of a time-out can be a more effective strategy for building a stronger relationship with the child. During a time-in, the parent and child can spend time together talking, playing, or doing an activity that they both enjoy. This can help the child feel heard, understood, and loved.

Building a Stronger Relationship

Building a stronger relationship with a child is an essential part of positive parenting solutions. This can involve using discipline strategies that focus on empathy, communication, and love.

For example, parents can try to understand why their child is hitting them. Are they seeking attention, feeling frustrated, or dealing with a difficult situation at school? By listening to their child and showing empathy, parents can help their child feel heard and understood.

Additionally, parents can use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. This can involve praising the child when they communicate effectively or manage their emotions well. Parents can also use toys or other rewards to incentivize positive behavior.

By using positive parenting strategies, parents can create a happier home and help their child learn important skills like impulse control, communication, and empathy. Free online classes like the 7-Step Parenting Success System® by Amy McCready and Positive Parenting Solutions® can provide additional guidance and support for parents looking to improve their parenting skills.


In conclusion, positive parenting solutions are an effective way to deal with a 5-year-old who hits. It is important to remember that children are still learning how to regulate their emotions, and hitting is often a sign that they have “lost it.”

When a child hits, it is crucial not to react with anger or frustration. Instead, parents should remain calm and empathetic, acknowledging the child’s emotions and providing a consequence that is both appropriate and compassionate. Time-in is a great way to help the child calm down and reflect on their behavior.

Positive discipline is not about punishing children, but rather teaching them how to make better choices. When a child hits, parents can use the opportunity to teach them about empathy and compassion. By modeling these behaviors, parents can help their child develop the social and emotional skills they need to succeed in life.

In summary, positive parenting solutions involve remaining calm, providing appropriate consequences, and using time-in to help the child regulate their emotions. By approaching the situation with compassion and understanding, parents can help their child learn from their mistakes and become more emotionally intelligent.