Ways to handle Your Child’s Physical Aggression

You have two objects in dealing with physical aggression. The first is to intervene immediately when one child threatens the safety of another. Some youngsters will reach for anything handy when fighting. Obviously, if the weapon is heavy or sharp, you have to confiscate it instantly.

The second goal is to handle such episodes in a way that discourages aggressive behavior while encouraging other solutions to problems.Try not to show anger, exact stiff punishments or assign guilt or innocence, for in doing so; you give recognition and dignity to the fighting.

To a very young child who has become aggressive in pursuit of another child’s toy, assign an immediate time-out. If your child and a particular companion tend to fight frequently, the best antidote is simply to keep them away from each other.

When the battlers are siblings, of course, your only option is to help them find ways of getting along. Tell them they must learn to work out their problems in a nice way and that you will not tolerate fighting, hitting or telling tales.

Make it a rule that when they fail to settle disputes amicably, it is grounds for an immediate time-out, during which they must go to separate rooms to get them under control. If a toy is the point of contention remove it for at least 15 minutes- and even longer as the children get older.

Be calm and consistent in enforcing these rules. If you notice that fight between siblings seem to occur at particular time of the day, you can plan separate activities at those times. Reward your youngsters with a pleasant activity when they get along cooperatively for a stretch of time.

Make the reward something that they can look forward to, such as an extra 15 minutes of play before bedtime. And help the children find acceptable ways to express their aggression. You can encourage them to talk about negative feelings instead of acting them out, and if necessary, set up a role-playing situation to show how people can solve problems without raising a big fuss.

geeta krishnan