Pulling hair is a bad behaviour and should be stopped early. Pulling hair is a means of expressing one's feelings to the sibling and the parents. It is a serious matter and the child should be pointed out that violence is not the answer to any problem. Read the tips on stopping hair pulling.
Ouch! She Pulled My Hair!!
Little Avni sits on the table munching on some chocolate. She quietly sits like a tiger ready to attack, watching her brother reach out for the last piece of chocolate. As soon as her older brother's fingers touch the piece, she springs forth her hand and pulls his hair. Ouch! Many toddlers have a bad habit of pulling hair. It is similar behavior to punching, kicking or biting. There are many reasons for why toddlers pull hair and it is important to understand those reasons and stop the habit before it becomes any worse.
A means of Communication
Pulling hair is sometimes seen as a means of communication both to the parent and to the sibling. The toddler might pull his older sibling's hair because he might want to signal to the sibling the consequences that will occur if the sibling ever takes that last piece of chocolate again. The child might also be trying to get his parent's attention in order that the parent tell the older sibling to share the food. Either way the toddler makes sure that his point gets across-that he wants the last piece of chocolate!
Stopping the Hair Pulling
One way you can stop this inappropriate behavior is by showing the toddler that pulling hair will not help him get what he desires. One must not analyze the situation too deeply. For example, do not think that the toddler pulled the sibling's hair because the sibling was being mean and then take pity on the toddler. By taking pity on the toddler, the toddler will come to learn that if he pulls hair, you will feel sorry for him. This is the wrong message you want to get across to your toddler because this will aggravate your child's inappropriate behavior even more. Thus, for example if your child pulls his sibling's hair for the last piece of chocolate, give the last piece of chocolate back to the sibling. This will prove that you do not agree with the child's behavior and you will not side with him if he pulls hair.
Try a time out
Time outs are another way to correct your child's behavior. This will cause the toddler to realize that pulling hair is wrong and every time he does it, he will get a time out. Do not get frustrated if your child continues on pulling hair even after a numerous time outs. Frustration on your part will encourage the hair pulling even more. By keeping calm and continuously giving him time outs without fail will help your toddler learn that hair pulling is wrong.
Talking to your child
After the time-out, remember to talk to your child and ask him why what he did was wrong. This will cause your toddler to realize that the matter is very serious and you will not tolerate it any more. It will even help him think for himself of why hair pulling is not right. However, do not ever pull your toddler's hair to show him how it feels. This will encourage hair pulling because he sees you as a parent demonstrating that behavior.
Pulling hair is a very serious matter that should be stopped. It is a form of behavior that your toddler expresses to show how he feels and what he wants. One must point out to him that verbal communication is the right way to express one's feelings and violence is not the answer. The earlier you try to stop the behavior, the easier it will be for your toddler to change his behavior.