Thursday, February 23, 2012

Aggressive Behavior in Children: Is it Normal?

Another problem of parents especially of moms is the AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR of children - especially the biting and hitting. It's kind of shocking especially when our kid is playing with other kids and then our kid began hitting and biting and we end up apologizing for our child's behavior. Its really frustrating because it feels like we can't do anything to change our child's behavior.

Its a normal part of our toddler's developmental process as they learn the process of self-control. Since they still have limited language skills, a strong will of autonomy, and developing muscle impulse, getting physical is their way of expressing what they want. Though its normal, we should not set this aside. As early as possible, we should correct the behavior by educating them to express what they want without getting aggressive.

What we should do
Longer our patience. Show the child that we can control our anger and talk to him calmly. Yelling and screaming at our child will only give him new things to try. And remember, the child imitate what elders do.

Stop the behavior immediately. Once we saw our kid is about to become aggressive, we should step in and  remove the child from the situation. Give him a minute or two of time out so he can calm himself down and then explain to the child the consequences of what he has done.

Be Consistent. We should respond to another episode the way we did the last time. That way, the child will remember that if he did bite or hit again it means he'll have another time out or he'll be out in the action. He'll come to expect a consequence if he misbehaves.

Tell the Child that its wrong to bite and hit. When the child finally calm down, explain to him that its ok to be angry but its bad to hit and bite. We should teach the child other alternatives in expressing his feelings like talking it out.

Appreciate. We should appreciate the child's effort and praise the child's good behavior. That way, he will continue to express himself in a good way because he is receiving praises by for example, lending the other child his toy or asking another child for his turn to the toy.

Monitor what the child watches on TV. We should guide the child while watching the TV because some programs may include hitting, shouting, and other kinds of violence. The child should only watch programs which fits his age. If other cartoon programs have some form of violence like hitting and spanking, explain to the child the situation and that it is still bad to hit and shout to anyone.

Seek professional help. If our child seems to be aggressive more often, upsets or frighten other children, engage activities that will annoy or hurt others, or if everything we say have no effect at all then its time to talk to our pediatrician who may recommend a child psychologist or counselor to determine what really makes the child behave this way. We should help the child through it and work with him patiently.

CREDITS: Baby CenterEmpowering ParentsThe Baby Corner

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