Children are extraordinary beings with huge personalities. They have a way of bringing out the best in most adults, especially their parents. There are many different personalities and characteristics that exist among children, especially siblings.
There are many stories of parents who have two or more children with personalities or behavior that is as different as night and day. While some children are kind-hearted, withdrawn or soft spoken, some can occasionally or primarily be very aggressive.
Aggressive behavior in children is normal and has been studied for years. Parents appreciate the research that goes into the behavior but most parents want to know what to do to help reduce the occurrence of aggression in children. This is not abnormal, but in fact, to be expected from most parents.
Parents have a strong desire to help their kids deal with anger or overly aggressive behavior. Doing so helps to mold a more stable family life and increases the opportunity for their child(ren) to interact easily with others. There are a few steps parents can take to help reduce aggression in their child.
1. Establish methods to help the child process or channel the anger. Talk with your child about verbally, but calmly expressing their anger with words, instead of with aggressive body language. Be an example by working out other differences in the home without raising voices or fighting but instead, sit down and talk things out openly and in a calm, respectful manner.
2. Set limits and be firm with them. Parents must be firm in setting limits and clear when enforcing them. Children need a clear understanding what is and isn’t acceptable behavior. Be sure to make all other responsible adults aware of the rules the child is to abide my and remind them to enforce those rules also. Inform them of the appropriate response in cases when the child displays aggressive behavior.
3. Refrain from physical punishment when the child is aggressive. Some parents choose to whoop or spank children when they behave aggressively. This can be misconceived by the child as aggressive behavior that is acceptable when you don’t like a certain situation. It can also cause the child to redirect their anger onto others.
4. Encourage self-control at all times. Children have to learn to control themselves and their tempers. As babies, they must be taught that it is not okay to yell at others, kick or hit whenever they feel the need to do so. Parents must provide guidance to help children learn to manage their feelings and keep their aggression under control. Remind them to think about the consequences of their actions before they act or speak out.
5. Don’t reward rough or mean behavior. There are lots of families that rough play with the kids and encourage them to fight with each other. It is okay to play but never teach them to be aggressive or applaud one for “play” beating others up. This can easily be misinterpreted as acceptable behavior and translate it in their reaction to certain situations.
Aggressive behavior in children is common but some kids act out more aggressively than others. It is important for parents to recognized these types of interactions and address them as soon as noticed. If a child presents himself as a danger to himself or others, it is always best to seek professional help. Sometimes children need a neutral party to address the situation, as they may talk more openly with them than with their parents. The most important thing to remember is to never ignore this type of behavior because it will grow considerably worse over time.