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Mom Criticizes Parents For 'Popping' Kid's Hand To Teach Them Not To Hit — And Says There's A Better Way

Photo: TikTok
jess martini calls parents out for popping kids hand

A woman has warned parents not to lightly hit their kids while trying to teach them to not hit back in a TikTok recent video. 

TikToker Jess Martini reacted to a video of a father lightly "popping" his 1-year-old kid's hand in order to teach her not to physically hit others.

It’s not hard enough to hurt the baby, but to teach her that hitting others has consequences and not to do it again.

However, Martini disagrees and calls out the parents for ‘popping’ the kid.

She explains that parents normally hear that lightly hitting their kids is an appropriate reaction for when the kid hits the parents first.

However, she mentions that lightly "popping" kids is a bad idea and should not be used as a method to teach kids about something. 

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Martini goes on to say that any kind of reaction from the parent, whether good or bad, will reinforce their behavior. 

The baby in the video is quite young and doesn’t have any bad intentions when she is lightly hitting her dad. On the contrary, she is probably trying to connect with the parent and asking for attention. 

Martini says, “They are trying to connect but they lack coordination, they lack impulse control and it is a developmentally appropriate behavior.” 

She further explains it’s normal for a kid that young to behave that way. While the parents may think that it is just bad behavior and want to punish it, they unknowingly reinforce it.

Martini explains the perfect way to deal with that situation and demonstrates it with her kid.

She explains her method of handling the situation with simple steps.

Her caption in the video reads, “Step 1- Replace hitting with an appropriate behavior for connecting.”

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While holding her son, she asked him to hit her. While he hit her on the head, she held his hand and gently stroked her face repeatedly. 

“Step 2- reinforce ‘gentle touch’”

Then she hugged him and gave him a little squeeze while stroking his back. She emphasized to keep doing that.

“Step 3- if they continue to hit set boundary that they will be put down for hitting (or removed from sibling or playmate they are hitting)”

If the kid continues to hit after that, boundaries should be set, however, not in a harsh way.

Using this method, she is disputing the kid's aggressive behavior with her loving behavior. She explains that she does this because the kid likes it and it's the behavior she wants to see in him.

She projects the “gentle touch” on him so he does the same to her in return.

Many internet users commented on the video with agreement and support for the TikToker.

Many people commented on how that is a better way to deal with a young kid who is hitting someone.

In addition, many people tried the “gentle touch” method and commented on how using that method with their kids worked for them.

One user commented, “Saying ‘gentle touch’ has worked for me. FYI studies show hitting a child only damages their attachment to you.”

Another user commented, “I’m a lead infant teacher and I do gentle touches in the classroom, it really does work and shows amazing results!”

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Sanika Nalgirkar, M.F.A. is a writer who covers entertainment & news, lifestyle, and pop culture topics.