Throwing things

If your child automatically resorts to throwing things when they are angry or don’t get their own way, I suggest you insist they pick up the objects. I’ve fostered many children who throw things in anger, often because their parents do. Indeed it is surprising just how many otherwise responsible adults resort to hurling objects when angry or upset.

Throwing things not only causes breakages to property but is also very dangerous to others, and is indicative of the person being out of control. While a soft toy is unlikely to do any real harm if thrown, a sharp or heavy object will. If a child picks up something ready to throw, tell them to put it down and then move swiftly to remove it from them.

One child I fostered, who regularly threw things at school was never stopped as the school operated a policy (in line with many schools) of no physical intervention because of the worry of being sued by parents. The child had long since stopped throwing things at home with me, after the first two incidents where I had taken away his ammunition and imposed a sanction. However, at school the child had learned that he could hold an entire class to ransom by picking up something heavy and threatening to throw it.

After one particularly nasty incident when he threw a compass, which narrowly missed a child’s face, I persuaded the school to physically stop him the next time he did such a thing and impose a sanction, reassuring them that I wouldn’t sue. They did, and the child never threw anything again, having lost face in front of the whole class. Throwing, or threatening to throw an object, together with all other negative behaviour, is a way of manipulating a situation and cannot be tolerated. Don’t ever be tempted to laugh it off, funny though it may appear. 

Cathy Glass (

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