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It’s normal for young children to hit and bite. As their brain develops and their motor ability increases, children will naturally express anger and aggression through such behaviours.

When children start hitting, biting, pushing or slapping, adults should:

  • react calmly but clearly show their disapproval, each time these behaviour occur 

  • be warm and attentive and reinforce good behaviour

  • apply age-appropriate discipline that promotes learning (e.g. saying sorry, repairing any damage done)

  • teach children how to express anger and frustration using words

  • encourage children to use peaceful behaviours (e.g. cooperate, negotiate, compromise, reconcile)

With the support and guidance of parents and caregivers and by interacting with others, children will learn NOT to use physical aggression and to use more socially-acceptable behaviour instead.