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my 4yr old loves play fighting punching a bit too much. was hoping this could provide him a healthy outlet as an alternative to my body which is getting tired of a beatdown.

is there a danger that it could lead to more punching attacks? or could it diffuse them?

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    Our son has always had the need to punch, kick, and bite. We enrolled him in tae kwon do when he was 4, he is now 6 and he has had a martial arts bag at home since he was 4 and a half. Having the bag at home has not made much of a difference as he rarely uses it for punching or kicking, but he does enjoy crashing into it and jumping on it. Going to tae kwon do has made a big difference, but it took a couple of years. – Dave Nelson Feb 14 '17 at 12:55
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    I am not at all aggressive and I had a Bozo the Clown inflated punching bag as a child. It was fun.LINK – WRX Feb 14 '17 at 12:57
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    @WillowRex I'm not surprised they made a punching bag with a clown on it. I mean, what's the first thing you think of doing when you see a clown that's not running away from it? – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica Feb 15 '17 at 15:24
  • Yikes. Outlet of aggression vs "better punching through practice." A parenting quandary! If you choose the bag, some instruction by parents should come with it. – PoloHoleSet Feb 15 '17 at 23:40
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I've bought a punching bag to one of my kids when she was 2 years old. It was the best spent money ever since my wife's wedding ring.

The thing is dangling from the ceiling of her room. She is free to kick, tackle, punch, hug, climb, and do whatever she wants with it. It's a little center of extreme activity for her inside the house, which is perfect for a very active kid like her. It's perfect to keep her busy when she can't go outside for some reason, like rainy days.

Punching that thing is a excellent and fun way for her to blow off some energy and is way better than letting her play with a tablet or some other device like that.

Just be careful with the space around the punching bag - be sure it's open and put some sort of soft material on the floor beneath it, in the case your kid falls down while playing with it.

The only con I can think of is that playing fight with your kid will start to hurt you a lot more.

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    You chose to be positive, and I like that. Punching is exercise. That is helps with other frustrations is a bonus. – WRX Feb 16 '17 at 19:23
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    @WillowRex Also, I would be lying if I say that I don't like punching the thing myself! Punching bags, contrary to most exercise equipments, are incredibly fun to play with! – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica Feb 16 '17 at 19:36
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    When getting a punching bag the main thing that comes to mind is that they will become stronger. Kids who get stronger may use this in a bad way. so to prevent them from mis-using their strength I'd suggest letting them disipline their strength with some form of martial arts once they have reached that certain age. Not to become better at fighting, but to learn how to keep their strength in check. – Migz Mar 1 '17 at 8:31
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I think it is an excellent idea! Obviously as mentioned in one of the other answers, if you purchase a punching bag, it is wise to keep a clear area around it as well as ensuring the floor is well padded in case kiddo falls. Keeping the area clear will also help prevent damage to other items in the room from missed punches or a swinging bag. Also, be sure your ceiling can support the weight of the punching bag. If you don't want a punching bag, you could give him some firm pillows to beat up on.

It also sounds like you should consider enrolling him in some form of martial arts class. It would be a good way for him to channel his energy, learn to defend himself and - hopefully - learn how not to injure himself while fighting. Also, regardless of whether or not you put him in classes, be sure he understands that it is not typically okay to beat up on a fellow human (unless they are trying to hurt him).

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    We gave our son a punchable penguin toy when we adopted him at 4-1/2. It was about as tall as he was at the time. Whenever he felt the need to punch something he would let the penguin have it. When he popped the penguin, we bought him another. Now he loves penguins (oddly) and has no anger management issues to speak of. We also enrolled him in tai kwon do and karate (as well as a few more conventional sports) and he learned a lot about self discipline and appropriate ways to let off steam. – Francine DeGrood Taylor Feb 15 '17 at 22:47

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