As my son grew past the toddler years, he got more and more boisterous.
Play fighting became the norm.
He got too boisterous to play fight with his mom and also his gran. It was me only. When he went to school, I got a little concerned. What if he fought like this with his peers?
He went through a phase of hitting during his toddler years, but this would be different! They wouldn’t stand a chance!
In this post, I will look at why you have a 5-year-old hitting at school and what you can do about it!
Sometimes, I imagine what it would be like if I were called to face the principal because he had been fighting or hitting other kids! It hasn’t happened, which is awesome. He knows he should only play fight hard at home with me, and he listened!
But, what if he did start hitting at school? What would I do?
What you will learn in this post:
- Why your 5-year-old is hitting at school.
- 5 things you can do to stop it
5 Reasons Why You Have a 5-Year-Old Hitting At School
Before you can address this issue, it would help to understand exactly what is causing this behavior. Then you can use that knowledge to stop it from happening.
If you want to know how to stop a 5-year-old from hitting at school, then the following 5 common reasons are where you should start.
I mentioned it briefly above, and I wanted to cover it here because it is one of the most common reasons you have a 5-year-old hitting at school.
When your 5-year-old play fights at home, there is potential that they will take this behavior to school and think they can do it with their friends.
Play fighting is a part of growing up, and we can’t stop that (it is human nature). So we can control it, to some extent!
School can become tough when your child gets to this age. When your kid is 5, school begins to move away from play and gets a little more serious!
This can make your child frustrated because of the gear shift in learning. Also, there is a chance that the work is getting a little difficult, which may build frustration in your 5-year-old.
This is another one of my fears as a dad to a 5-year-old! When I think of him being bullied, the rage grows inside me. I want to go back to being 5, so I can strut into his school and sort out all the bullies. Knowing what I know now, bullies are too easy to sort out!
If you think this is the case, you should address your concerns with his teachers. The last thing you want is an angry 5-year-old hitting out and becoming a bully themselves!
It is tiring being a 5-year-old! Not only do you burn off a ton of energy during the day by running, playing, climbing, and falling over (which happens a lot), but the work you are being made to do at school is mentally draining too.
You know as well as the next parent how challenging a child can get if tired! They will either become accident-prone, silly, or just straight-up angry.
Fear leads to some strange behavior! In most kids, it will lead to withdrawing from the situation (primarily to preserve life); this is because of the natural ‘stress response’ or ‘fight or flight‘ as it is also known.
Your child may be lashing out at school because they feel frightened.
5 Things You Can Do To Stop Your 5-Year-Old Hitting At School
The following 5 tips will give you advice on how to stop your child from hitting at school. I have given you the 5 most common reasons why they are hitting, and now we move on to stop it.
1. Define Clear Consequences
Your 5-year-old needs to understand precisely what the consequences are if they hit out at school. I am talking about the consequences at home and at school here.
For a start, your 5-year-old will be in huge trouble at school, and they need to understand that. Also, they need to understand that the punishment will not stop after school. At home, there will also be a punishment waiting for them.
Discuss this punishment with your 5-year-old so they understand what to expect if they hit out at school. There must be consequences for hitting at school… so set expectations accordingly!
2. Identify Patterns – Respond
When a 5-year-old lashes out, it is not usually an immediate reaction. If you watch them closely enough, you will notice the signs that a right hook is on the cards.
It would help if you were watching closely for signs that this is about to happen. As soon as you identify the build-up, it would be best if you spoke to your child’s teachers at school. Let them know that you have identified an issue and are working on resolving it. But if they notice the build-up, they can also help stop it before the boxing match starts.
3. Behave Yourself
OK, there are two things I mean by this. 1. Do not punch people. Kids learn how to behave from those around them. If you punch people, your 5-year-old will punch people. 2. When play fighting, explain the rules.
The rule of play fighting is to only go in hard when fighting with you. If they go in hard on others, they may get hurt, and your child will get into trouble (see tip 1). Set expectations, and set the rules.
4. Teach Emotional Responses
Anger is a response due to fear, frustration, and many other emotions. Your job is to teach your child to respond differently and better.
Instead of frustration, your child should be asking for help. Instead of lashing out, they should be learning to control fear by using other methods such as breathing.
To stop your 5-year-old from hitting at school, you should teach them how to deal with emotions using other methods.
5. Praise Positive Behavior
One of the most important parts of parenting is discipline. Discipline should not simply be a punishment for bad behavior. It would be best if you also were rewarding good behavior.
If you want to understand how to discipline a child for hitting at school, then you should begin by rewarding good behavior!
When you can see your child building up to a punch, but then they cool down before lashing out, then you should 100% be giving out a world full of positive praise! That way, your 5-year-old will learn that they get rewarded for reacting a different way.
When you find yourself with a child hitting at school, it is a huge problem! Luckily the 5 tips on this page will help if you have a 5-year-old hitting at school.
I’ve also covered the 5 most common reasons, which you should consider when addressing this problem.
Ultimately, it is good to learn that violence rarely solves anything. It only makes it worse. The job of a parent is to teach them.
Good luck! And keep your guard up!