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How to Deal With a 5-Year-Old Who Hits

Question

Our son is 5 and just started kindergarten. He's had so many tough transitions this year with COVID lockdowns. One day in March his friends, preschool, extended family were all taken away and then one day in August he started a new school, with no nap, new friends, and a real learning environment. It's been a tough time for us all. The ticket system doesn't seem to be getting us anywhere and now I've gotten a call from school that he's acting so frustrated he's hitting other kids at recess. He's generally a sweet boy who blows kisses to his teachers and loves school but he's struggling to deal with his emotions and frustrations plus a mask all day. His frustrations come out at me (mom) and now they are coming out at his classmates. I believe this is normal 5 year old behavior plus tough times but how can I guide him into handling his frustrations in a constructive way?

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