Q&A #1: Should I let my child hit me, or a pillow?

This episode kicks off a series of new episodes that I’m very excited about, which is based on listeners’ questions. My goal is to produce shorter episodes that cut across the research base to help you answer the questions that are on your mind about your child’s behavior and development.


Our first question comes from Dee in New Zealand, who wants to know: should she should do what her preschooler is asking and buy a pair of inflatable boxing gloves so he can hit her when he’s feeling angry. Or would hitting a pillow be a better option?


If you’d like to submit your own question, you can record a video of yourself asking it in two minutes or less, upload it to a platform like Drive or Dropbox, and send a link to it at support@yourparentingmojo.com. Alternatively you can go to the homepage and click the button to record your question for an audio-only option.


Other episodes referenced in this episode:


Jump to highlights

(02:18) Parent Dee’s question about her child

(04:02) The six things going on in the question

(06:19) The Catharsis Theory

(07:18) Pointing out the difference in terminology about anger and aggression

(09:38) Most of the research has studied cognitive behavioral therapy as a treatment for anger and aggression

(11:22) The difference between adults and children in navigating situations

(13:10) Anger in girls and boys

(14:42) Addressing the difficult behavior instead of the reason for the behavior

(16:00) The importance of self-regulation in managing feelings of anger

(17:06) Most of us didn’t have great role models for how to cope with anger

(22:23) Things to do to help a child regulate their feelings


About the author, Jen

Jen Lumanlan (M.S., M.Ed.) hosts the Your Parenting Mojo podcast (www.YourParentingMojo.com), which examines scientific research related to child development through the lens of respectful parenting.

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