Tips for Dealing With an Aggressive Child
Aggressive behavior can occur at any age. When you find that your child is exhibiting excessive aggressive behavior, you need to employ strategies to turn it around. Handling an aggressive child depends largely on the age group. Young children are prone to this behavior naturally as their little minds developed.
1. Consistency is key
When dealing with aggressive small children, consistency is the key to success. Changing your response to aggression each time doesn’t send the right message to your child. For example, if your child has been making a habit of hitting his siblings, you must tell him in a calm voice using the same words every time that it’s not acceptable and he will need to take a timeout.
2. Lay down the law firmly
You may find yourself the subject of stares when you are out with your toddler when aggressive behavior occurs. Wherever you are, be it a restaurant or the supermarket, if your child falls down the aggressive spiral over a minor thing like wanting dessert, you need to lay down the law firmly by telling him it’s not okay to act like this at the place you happen to be in. Tell him he’s not getting what he wants and if he doesn’t stop carrying on, you will leave. Here is where it’s most important though – make good on your command. Annoying as it is to leave, it sends a big message to your child that this behavior will not get them their way. Be prepared that you may need to do this several times, but it is extremely effective and will soon lead to your child understanding that making a scene is not the way to get what one wants.
3. Tell them where you will be going
At this tender young age though, it can be beneficial to head off that aggressive behavior at the pass. When you’re going somewhere new, talk to your child about it first. Tell them where you will be going and what will happen when you’re there. In this way, there are no surprises to your child.
4. Give your child a snack
Don’t forget that children need snacks too. We can delay our own gratification, but children don’t have this capacity. Always keep some snacks in your bag. It will help meltdowns that occur out of hunger.
5. Monitor the situation
For older children, should they behave aggressively at school, you’ll need to monitor the situation and be in communication with your child’s teachers and the school. There are some things that the school should handle, like dealing with tardiness or running in the halls, that won’t require you to punish them any further at home. If your child’s behavior is abusive though (either verbally or physically), it’s important for you to step up to the plate and guide your child to make the right decisions to solve his own problems.
6. Talk to your child
Make sure you ask your child how they should have handled things differently. If it’s a problem that keeps coming up, you must talk to your child about how their method for handling the situation was not effective and dole out punishment. As with younger children though, consistency here will also pay off here to turn aggressive behavior around.
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