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A Beginner's Guide to Discipline

Pulling, Grabbing, Etc.

Pulling, grabbing, and hitting

These behaviors are normal for infants as they discover all the fun things they can do with their hands  -- and the more excited your reaction, the more fun it seems to them. Remember, a baby doesn't know that grabbing and hitting are "wrong" until you tell him. When your baby pulls your hair or hits your face, gently remove his hands and say, "You hurt Mommy," while looking into his eyes. Then show him an alternative to hitting, such as "Give me five," or offer him something else to grab, such as your finger. If he hits another child, tell him, "We don't hit, we hug," and demonstrate the alternative. If he pulls a pet's tail, show him how to be gentle. Finally, little hands are always looking for things to grab, so give the young explorer word associations to help him sort out what he may touch. Try "yes touch" for safe things, "no touch" for objects that are off-limits, and "soft touch" for faces and animals.