The Parenting Clubhouse Podcast Episode 78: Is It Normal for My Kid to Spit

parenting podcast spitting Sep 15, 2020

Hi there! We are continuing our behavior series with is it normal for my kid to spit? And I’m really glad we are talking about this spitting behavior because it’s one of those behaviors that happens more than you’d think and it’s an uncomfortable one. I mean spitting… gross. And I’ve noticed more and more that my two-year-old is more aware of his own spit, so it’s not uncommon. So, let’s talk about what we can do about all of this spitting, shall we?!

And in the episode, you’ll find that I describe spitting as a junk behavior, yes, a minor unwanted behavior that isn’t dangerous or harmful, just really annoying. So, to help with this and other minor junk behaviors, go download my 3 Easy Parenting Hacks to Make Behavior Stop freebie to give you some easy strategies to use to help prevent those unwanted behaviors. You can download it at And, of course, helping you managing and address the spitting is a behavior I can help you with virtually with my one-on-one support if you live in Alabama. Head to to book a call with me to learn how I can help support you one on one. And lastly, I’m giving away 5 free parenting strategy sessions to help you get ahold of an unwanted behavior! Sign up for one of those free spots at

But for now, let’s talk about spitting. Let’s go to the show!

A lot of times when parents think of spitting, especially in relation to their own child spitting, they think of their child spitting at them or at another person, in their face. And, of course, parents assume that this behavior from their child is in response to some unwanted, negative, or aversive thing that is happening to the child.

So, a child may spit at a you because you told him no, he can’t play on the iPad. Or a child may spit in your face because you are making him do his schoolwork or do his chores. Or a child may spit in your face because you’re too busy playing a game on your phone and you’re not paying any attention to your child.

But spitting can look different, and spitting doesn’t have to be directed towards another person. A child may spit on the ground while playing outside because he saw someone else do it one time or because he saw you spit when you were on a jog.

While spitting can be directed at a person, it doesn’t have to be. A child may spit at the ground or on an object for a number of reasons. And a child doesn’t necessarily spit at a person or an object or on the ground because of some negative or unwanted event. A child may do these things “just because,” so to speak.

Nevertheless, it’s irritating, right? And it’s gross. And, for most of us, it’s a sign of disrespect when someone spits in your face.

But here’s the deal. Some kids spit and some kids don’t. And one of the reasons that spitting continues once our child starts the behavior, is because of our reaction to it. 

Yes, it’s gross. Yes, it’s not appropriate. Yes, it seems very disrespectful especially when our kid spit at us or another person. So, what do we do about it?

If a child is trying to get access to something he wants, we should prompt him to ask appropriately instead of spitting. If a child using spitting to escape from something he doesn’t like, we need to follow through with the instruction. And if a child is trying to get attention by spitting, we should remain neutral and provide attention when our child is doing something appropriate.

Even if you know how to respond to the spitting, it can still be hard. Luckily, I can help you come up with a game plan to address the spitting so that spitting is less likely to happen in the future. Book a free call at and let’s chat.

While spitting is unsightly and feels utterly disrespectful, it’s important to respond in a way that won’t encourage your child to just do it again in the future. If your child gets exactly what he wants when he spits, he is going to do it again to get what he wants, whether that be to escape, to get your attention, or to get access to something that he likes.

And if this is the type of behavior you don’t want to deal with on your own and you’re ready for some 1:1 support to guide you with dealing with spitting, sign up for a free call with me to learn about how I can help you. You can do that at

If your child is a spitter, I feel you, I’m with you, and you can manage it!

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