How to deal with aggression in children
Anytime her wishes are not fulfilled or demands not met, Punam, 4, will lie down on the floor and move her legs as though she is cycling. Vikram, 3, is more aggressive. He starts hitting her mother when denied anything.
Now, tantrum-throwing children are common. But such aggression is not. But many parents accept this sort of wild behavior saying that the child will improve with time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen. If not checked in time, aggression in infanthood can lead to anger issues in adolescence and violent behavior in adulthood.
As a parent, it is your duty to nip the problem in the bud. You have to make your child understand that he/she should not and cannot use this behavior to get his/her way. As a parent you must guide your child to manage his/her emotions and express anger in words not actions.
Help him work out what he’s feeling
After your child has calmed down from a tantrum, gently talk to him/her. Try to find out the reason behind this behavior. You child is a separate individual and he/she should be treated as one, and taught how to manage feelings, especially anger.
Teach your child to empathise
Small kids do not think of the consequences of their behavior; they don’t think as to how their behavior might be affecting others. After your child has calmed down, ask him/her as to how would he/she feel if he/she was at the receiving end of such behavior.
If your child doesn’t possess enough verbal skills to assert himself/herself in a non-violent way, educate him/her. You can change roles; you become a child and make your child mom or dad, and see how a child should behave in adverse circumstances.
Offer him/her verbal alternatives
Tell him what he/she could have said in the situation. And remind him/her the next time he/she gets angry and starts to throw tantrums. And when he/she does that, don’t forget to appreciate him.
Teach him how techniques to calm down
Deep breathing, having a glass of water are two simple ways to calm down. Tell your child to adopt these.
Be very firm in dealing with a tantrum-throwing child. There is no need to raise your voice or hands. Maintain your cool and tell your child in no uncertain words that his/her bad behavior will not be tolerated.
Keep a watch on his TV watching
Studies have shown that children who see aggressive or violent behaviour on the TV screen or in computer games are more aggressive in their real life as well. So keep your child away from violent TV serials, games and movies.
Be a role model
Children learn by example. So be well-behaved and in control of your emotions when you are with them. If a child sees his/her parents getting angry as smallest instances, he/she will also adopt the same behavior.
Bad behavior and aggression often triggers anger in parents, but try not to let your own anger build up. That’s no use. After all, you have to teach your child and be a role model for him.