All moms are familiar with the hard truth that their children are naughtier when with them! When dad watches the kids, he talks about little angels and happy afternoons, but with moms, it is a different story!
However, it can be a little more concerning if your toddler starts hitting you, and only you and they don’t seem to do the same to dad.
Hitting is a little more than just misbehaving, so should it be something that you worry about?
Luckily, most of the time, your toddler hitting you and not dad is not a bad sign. It shows they are more comfortable showing their emotions and frustrations around you, as they see you as their safe space.
As wonderful as it is to know that you are their safe space, it isn’t great being hit by your toddler, and there are ways to avoid this!
Why Do Toddlers Act Out More With Mom Than Dads?
The reason your toddler acts out more with you and not with dad is purely emotional. Your toddler is dealing with a barrage of emotions daily, and they are still trying to figure out how to deal with all of these new feelings.
You are their safe space. With you they feel relaxed, they feel secure and they feel open to expressing their emotions, good or bad.
They might know to not act that way around other people and the moment they are with you, they let it all out.
As horrible as it might be that your child seemingly turns into a different person the moment they are with you, after hours of good behavior, take it as a good sign.
They are most comfortable with you, and they know you will accept and love them no matter how they act or what they feel.
Being the parent that’s around the child the most becomes the one the child trusts the most, and unfortunately, have to deal with more outbursts.
This is also the age toddlers start pushing their limits with others.
Is My Toddler Hitting Me A Bad Sign?
Your toddler hitting you and not their dad is not a bad sign, in fact, you can actually take it as a good sign that you are doing a great job!
No matter what other people might try to tell you, such as your child hitting you means they are behaving badly, or that you need to discipline them, you need to remember that you are their mom, and you decide how to parent.
Your toddler hitting you and misbehaving with you shows that you have done well to create a safe space for them, where your toddler shows that they feel comfortable expressing the emotions that come naturally to them.
This is so beneficial for their future as well, as you would want your child to feel comfortable coming to you throughout life with any issues or emotions that they feel. They should not feel scared to approach you with anything, and as a mom, this is exactly the open communication you would want.
So while you should try and get your little one to stop hitting you when they see you, you should always encourage them to display their true and natural emotions around you, where it is safe for them to do so.
How To Handle Your Toddler Misbehaving Around You
Your toddler misbehaving around you and not with others is a good sign, as they feel comfortable expressing their emotions with you, but this does not mean that you cannot try and teach them how to appropriately express themselves without anger or violence.
Here are some tips on how you can discourage hitting and other bad behavior when your toddler is around you and feeling overwhelmed with their emotions:
- Firstly and most importantly, do not get frustrated yourself, no matter how long and hard your day was. Keep your cool and stay calm. Becoming frustrated or upset will only make the situation worse.
- Get down to your toddler’s level, or pick them up so that they are at level with you. Being at their level helps you connect with them and helps them feel like they are on an equal footing with you.
- Speak slowly and deliberately to them, using words that you know they will understand. Keep sentences simple and short and try to ask them to calm down. If they are old enough, ask them why they feel the way they do, and what might have upset them.
- Remove them from any situation that could be overwhelming them, such as a loud living room or other siblings.
- If your toddler tries to hit you, do not hit back, but simply hold their hand and sternly tell them that hitting is not okay.
- Distract them with a toy or something fun, and hopefully, they will regain control of their emotions and calm down.
Helping your toddler understand their feelings by talking them through their emotions is such a valuable lesson for the rest of their life. Being able to understand and regulate their own emotions will only be beneficial for them, and the sooner they are comfortable with their emotions, the sooner they can handle them and hopefully not throw tantrums or hit you!
Some Extra Tips When Your Toddler Misbehaves With You
Here are some extra tips for you to follow when your toddler misbehaves with you and even hits you and not their dad.
- Encourage your toddler to spend more time with their father and other family members, so that they feel more comfortable expressing their emotions around them as well. This also allows them the opportunity to get to know your toddler better and handle their outbursts better too.
- Calm your child down when they start acting up around you, and the best way to do this is to show affection and to stay calm. Physical touches such as hugs and kisses are magical at this age, and can really help soothe them.
- Always talk about a tantrum with your toddler, to help them understand the consequences of bad behavior and to help them have a good base for better behavior.
Do not take it as a bad sign if your toddler hits you and not their dad, or if they act out more with you. This is a sign that they feel comfortable and secure around you, and as a mother, that is exactly what you would want!
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