Aggression is a common human emotion. Seeing adults getting angry is a common sight, however same parents when they see their children get angry, they find it unusual and disturbing.
Kids can be hostile toward their siblings, other students at school, and even their parents or other family members. Adults can recognize violence and seek strategies to address it; however, this is not the case with children. Accepting or recognising that he is dealing with hostility is extremely tough for a child. They frequently hit, kick, and bite others as a result of their violent conduct. They frequently believe that all of this is just part of the game and that they aren’t even aware that they are injuring the other.
Aggression in children can take many forms: Angry tantrums; hitting, kicking, or biting; hot-headed outbursts that destroy property; bullying; verbal attacks; attempts to control others through threats or violence.
Kids lash out because they’re frustrated by a problem that’s too big for them. They haven’t yet learned how to control their impulses, or work out conflicts in socially acceptable ways. In other cases, kids may be wrestling with special difficulties — like stressful life events, emotional regulation problems, attention deficits, autistic symptoms, or hyperactivity.
Generally, as parents we only see the act or the outer representation which is generally the behavior. But there is always a hidden need or feeling in that behavior. As parents it is important to understand and address the need of the child, so that the child feels understood and important
It is critical for both parents and teachers at schools to keep a close eye on their children’s behaviour and to intervene if there are any symptoms of aggressiveness.
Here are a few tips that parents can use to handle stress amongst children
- BE PATIENT- Patience is the key in raising kids. Children don’t process emotions and information the way adults do (see below). If your child is very young, there’s a lot she doesn’t understand about her own feelings, let alone yours. If your child is older, it’s still likely that your child’s misbehavior reflects impulsivity or incompetence– not malice.
- LOOK OUT FOR TRIGGERS AND STIMULANTS: Parents should try and understand the pattern in the environment that triggers for aggressive behaviors in children. This helps to get to the root of the problem and helps to reduce such behaviors as it can be handled at the root cause level.
- AVOID HITTING: Hitting or spanking the kid will do no good rather will aggravate aggressive behaviors. Parents should practice what they preach. If they show aggression how can they expect the child to not show aggression? Also by hitting or punishing we just show our power to the child and child gets a message that we can get the work done through our aggression.
- UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILD’S EMOTIONS: Talk to your child about his/ her underlying emotions or feelings. It is important to understand the emotions underlying the aggressive act. Once the parents address the underlying feeling the basic needs of the child is take care and there are high chances the need to express the need through aggression would be less.
- TALK TO YOUR CHILD: When children are forbidden from engaging in particular behaviours, they frequently experience guilt. They are remorseful after hitting someone. After you’ve trained them, hug them, listen to them, and spend some quality time with them so that they don’t withdraw and don’t lose sight of what is expected of them. Do everything you can to promote intimacy.
- CHANNELISE YOUR CHILD’S ENERGY: It is critical that children spend their time studying, playing, and doing other activities during the day. This will undoubtedly take their attention away from their violent actions. They have less time to focus on bad things if they spend more energy on productive things.
- BE FIRM, NOT LOUD: Don’t give into the child’s tantrums very easily. Be firm on your stand when the child is throwing a tantrum. Don’t shout or yell at him/her. Let the phase pass but stand very firm on your stance. If you shout or show aggression you justify aggression to the child.
These are a few strategies which may be helpful to you to handle your child’s aggressive behaviours. As Parents it important to first practice or set by example and then expect from the child. Aggression can be handled at all levels, as parents we must be adept for it.