How to Recognise and Deal with Children’s Aggression
- 26 Jan 2020
Most parents feel helpless when it comes to dealing with their child’s anger and aggression. Parents blame their selves and feel that they are failing at parenting, when they are unable to handle the tantrums thrown by their kids. Depending upon your child’s age - aggression may tend to come out through verbal attacks as well as angry tantrums; hitting or kicking whatever comes in a child’s way. All children are different and some take longer to achieve self-control than others.
Let’s dive in and find out what,
Causes Aggression in Children
Anger is a completely normal and healthy emotion for a human. When children are growing up – it takes time to learn to handle conflicts, and when they are unable to handle problems on their own – they tend to get frustrated and get angry. Small children often do not have the basic understanding of dealing with anger, they may hit or push a playmate for taking away a toy.
In some cases, children may be facing difficult life events, craving attention, autistic symptoms or even hyperactivity.
It is possible that your child may imitate violent behavior that they see around them. They may receive attention from family members or their teachers for behaving aggressively. Violent behavior can lead to severe consequences – if left untreated. Many factors can increase the tendency to get violent.
Signs of Violent Behavior in Children
Consistent violent behavior should not be ignored, some of the signs that show violent behavior in children may include:
• Frequent episode of uncontrolled anger.
• Easily getting frustrated.
• Being extra sensitive and irritable.
Causes of Violent Behavior in Children
Children who behave in an aggressive manner often have an underlying problem. Some identified causes include:
• Parents that don’t supervise children or provide a safe home environment.
• Being exposed to emotional trauma or stress.
• Family history of violence.
• Your child may be over exhausted or even hungry.
• Playing violent video games.
• Mental health conditions.
When children have depression, they might act out aggressively when they feel irritated. Sometimes, a child may act out due to fear or his insecurities. This happens more commonly when a child has paranoia or other forms of psychoses.
Children also find it hard to cope with their emotions, initially. Frustrated children may tend to act out. This is common in children with autism disorder or cognitive impairments.
Researchers have reported that daily screen time may affect children’s behavior in the longer run. Children who spend more than 2 hours staring at screens tend to develop ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Causes in Adolescents
Aggressive behavior in adolescents is more commonly identified – Many adolescents respond aggressively in situations or act up rudely or get into arguments. However, their behavior may be identified if they more often,
Signs of Aggression in Adolescents
• Get into fights
• Bully Others
• Yelling during arguments
The reasons for acting aggressively may involve,
• Peer pressure
• Unhealthy relationship with family
Puberty can also be a stressful time. If they don’t understand or know how to deal with their bodily changes, they may respond irritably and act aggressively.
As already mentioned, aggression in kids needs to be treated not ignored.
How to Deal with Children’s Aggression
Adults tend to have better control over their feelings of aggression and anger so, being parents it is our duty to help our kids gain self-control and develop the ability to express their feelings in an appropriate manner. This is just a phase – like there may be times when your child warms your heart by being at their best behavior likewise, there are other times when it drives you nuts.
There are ways you can adopt to deal with your child’s aggression:
1. House Rules: Set some ground rules in the house. Children do not know how to obey those rules unless you teach them to. They need to learn what behavior is and is not permitted. Children should have a room where they
can play with their toys and read books, whenever they break some rule – being a parent it is your responsibility to teach them where they went wrong.
2. Say No to Threats: “Stop it or else!” try avoiding such phrases – as they will soon learn these are just empty threats. Instead try a more solid approach, distract them for some time. There is nothing wrong with changing their focus for the time being.
3. Hurting Each other is not Accepted: When your child is involved in disputes with his playmates, observe him closely and if a disagreement is minor let him solve it on his own. But if it initiates a fight – separate them and tell them hitting is not a solution to anything. Let them calm down and explain it to them that they can sort things out by talking. There should be no excuse for trying to hurt each other.
4. You Need to be Patient: When teaching your children how to deal with aggression, always remember to control your own anger first – around them. You child will eventually follow how you behave.
5. Praise Your Child: Always praise your child for showing best behavior and explain how nice it feels when he/she behaves gently.
6. Tell Them They are Loved: Keep reminding your child that they are loved and you genuinely care about them. A hug solves many disputes and calms down a tantrum throwing child in all situations.
7. Talk about Everyone’s Feelings: When sorting out a dispute with a play mate, now is the time to teach your child empathy – encourage them to feel how they feel. You can’t make teach children to behave nice by making them feel worse. Make them feel better – so they behave better.
You just need to be a little patient and give your child plenty of love and support - you will soon see positive changes in his/her attitude. Your child will soon grow out of his/her aggressive behavior.
If you still find difficulty in dealing with them, a trained child therapist can also help you understand why your child behaves the way they do. Above all, don’t get discouraged or impatient – things can change any time. Raising children is hard but most parents are trying to do what’s best for their kids