Aggressive behaviour can cause other behavioural problems in children. It can impact the overall development and personality of a child. Let us take a look at some tips for handling an aggressive child.
Aggression and anger are natural drives and are present in adults as well as children. While adults are able to control the expression of their negative feelings, children do not know these skills and sometimes engage in improper demonstration of aggression. As a parent there is a lot you can do to control the behaviour of your aggressive child.
Use Actionable Consequences
When it comes to children, using immediately actionable consequences will work better. Children do not understand the concept of long term future consequences so delivering disciplinary dictates with future action plans. So if your kid is throwing an aggressive tantrum in the super market then it is a better idea to say “when we reach home you will be given a timeout” than saying “you will not get any presents this Christmas”. When controlling an aggressive kid is a priority then use immediate consequences that can make a prompt impression on the child.
Always Follow up Words with Action
A sure shot recipe for failing to control children is to skip translating words into actions. For example when your kid is behaving aggressively and you say that “if you do not stop shouting now I will take your toys away” then these are mere words. Action happens when you really take the toys away after bad behaviour even if your kid pleads with you. A simple parenting rule is to always follow up what you have said with action even if it seems phenomenally hard. When children understand that you mean to follow through whatever you have said they will take you more seriously.
Do Resist the Urge to Hit
Sometimes when your kid is acting in a very aggressive way by hitting, biting and screaming then you might feel the urge to hit him or her as a form of discipline. However hitting or pushing will only worsens the situation as your child will understand that it is justified to hit others. Hitting your kid will aggravate the aggressive streak and in future your child will show even worse symptoms of aggression. Do resist the idea of raising a hand on your child or using any form of physical violence. Remember that aggression cannot cure aggression.
Use a Calm Controlled Tone of Voice
Child psychiatrists say that best tone of voice that can be used to controlled aggression is a calm and controlled tone. Use a level tone and clipped short sentences to convey pleasure or displeasure. Make sure that you do not raise your voice, use abusive or verbally insult your child. Tell your child why what he or she is doing is wrong and what will be the immediate consequences of such action. In nine out of ten cases this tone of voice will work and your child will calm down.
Teach Productive Ways of Anger Management
In most cases an aggressive child loses control over his or her behaviour and actions. In such cases scolding or reprimanding the kid is of no use. It is a better strategy to teach your child good ways of controlling anger or channelizing aggression in different ways. For example, a game of football or tennis can be a good outlet for aggression and can sap away the negative energy. Playing a musical instrument, writing a diary or simply walking into an empty room to vent out frustration can be a good way too. Confide in your child that you too feel angry and violent and use these techniques to control your anger.
Remember that with a little practice and prudence it is perfectly possible to control aggression in your child. You can act as a strong support for your child in this situation.
What are the causes of aggressive behaviour in children? How to prevent aggressive behaviour in children? What are the ways to deal with an aggressive child? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team