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Aggression: reasons and remedies

Aggression: reasons and remedies
June 17
12:43 2013

Some kids can be really aggressive at time. For lots of parents, it is very common to get complaints from their kids’ preschools and nurseries about how he/she kicked or punched one of his/her classmate. This aggression may seem very normal till the time it is harmless for your and others kids, but when they come home hurt or you get complaints of them hurting someone really bad, then it really becomes something to be worried about. There can be various reasons behind this behavior of your kid. Sometimes the reason behind their aggression is fear; sometimes they do it in frustration. When you child feels sidelined by another child they get angry. On the other hand, when your kid is 3-4 years, he/she will be learning a lot of new skills, from learning how to hold a pencil to speak long sentences. They can easily get frustrated when trying to learn and end up taking that frustration out on a friend.

Sometimes your bundle of joy is just hungry or tired. He/she doesn’t know what to do about it and therefore, act strange by throwing tantrum or hitting or biting. The relief is, your child will gradually come out of aggression when he/she will discover how to communicate their issues and use words rather than feet or fists to solve the problem. The key is assisting him/her realize- sooner rather than later that he/she will get better results by talking than he/she will from biting a friend.

Here are some more tips that you can use to control their aggression:

Respond immediately:

Let your kid know instantly when he/she has done something wrong. Take him/her away from the situation for some time. The plan is to make them connect her/his behavior with the results and to work out that if he/she will bite or hit, he/shes will miss all the fun. No matter how disgusted you are with your child’s behavior, try not to yell or hit. This will only teach that verbal and physical aggression are okay when they are angry. Rather, set a good example by controlling your anger and coolly taking him/her out of situation.

Adhere to plan:

As much as possible, react to aggressive behavior instantly. The more expected you are (“ Ok, you hit Rita again- that means one more break”), the sooner you will establish a pattern that your child will identify and expect. Finally, he/she will realize that if he/she will misbehave, he/she will be taken away from the fun.

Discuss their behavior:

Once your child is cool and calm, discuss what happened. The best time to discuss their behavior is after they settle down, but before they forget what happened. Ask if he/she can explain what triggered his/her outburst. Explain that it is ok to get angry at times, but it is not Ok to hit, bite, push, or kick. You can teach your child that he/she should talk about the issue either with the person (they have problem with) or the teacher or you can also teach him/her to walk away from annoying situations and people.

Reinforce responsibility:

If your child’s anger makes a mess, say damages someone’s property then make him/her fix it. Say, make him/her clean up the snacks or building blocks he/she threw in anger or can help glue a broken toy. Don’t make this whole exercise look like a punishment, but present as a natural outcome of an aggressive act. Also make him/her learn to say sorry. Lots of kids find it very difficult to say sorry. To get started you can lend a helping hand and do it for him/her. But gradually your child will learn to apologize for his/her wrong behavior.

Acknowledge good behavior:

Not always pay attention to your child’s mistakes, try to catch her being nice. When he/she asks permission to use someone else’s stuff or behaves decently at a public place, tell him/her how proud you are and make sure to highlight the instance. You can also reward his/her nice behavior by giving balloon or sticker when he/she manages to control temper.

Monitor TV programs:

It is very important to monitor the programmes your kid sees by watching them with him/her, especially if he/she learns things too quickly. Even the cartoons and children’s shows have extensive shouting, hitting and fights. While watching programmes if you find something that you don’t approve, talk about it, say how bad that act was, or one should not behave that way. Computer or cell phone games also contain aggressive themes, so if you or his/her siblings play such games, monitor your young child’s exposure to those games.

Consult your doctor:

Some kids have more temper issues than others. If your child’s behavior is serious and results in physical attacks that harms him/her or others involved talk to your doctor. Together you can try to establish the reason behind their aggression. Doctor may also advice to seek help of psychologist or psychiatrist. Sometimes their aggression is due to any diagnosed learning or behavior disorder. While sometimes the problem is due to family or emotional difficulties. Seeking expert help is very unlikely, but if you feel the need or find it necessary then don’t be afraid to seek help.


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