Read on to find out what you can do when your child is being aggressive — and how to prevent him from becoming a bully.
Have you ever wondered why your usually sweet little child suddenly does hurtful things, or says hurtful words? Most parents may be at a loss when their child is being aggressive, so we’ve identified a few things you should think about whenever your little one acts up.
Exposure to violence
Young children who are exposed to violent and/or abusive behavior on television, their playmates, siblings, caregivers or even parents, will mimic that behaviour. If a toddler witnesses Daddy yelling and screaming at Mummy — even hitting her — they will think it is completely acceptable to do the same.
Similarly, children who are exposed to and who bear the brunt of the school (or daycare, for younger kids) bully’s outbursts will eventually act out in a similar fashion.
If you think that your child is being mean because of what was stated above, take whatever steps necessary to correct the situation. This is your child’s life we’re talking about here.
Do whatever you can to ensure that your child is raised in a safe, loving, calm and peace-loving environment. Seek family counselling and/or take the necessary steps to provide a safe home for your child.
If the school or daycare bully is at the root of your child’s violent or aggressive outbursts, consult the relevant authorities as to what is being done to correct the bully’s actions. If the situation persists, you may need to consider moving your child to a different environment.
Other forms of violence that can cause problems include movies and video games. Be mindful of what comes into your home and who is in the room if older family members insist on watching violent movies.
Young children — especially toddlers — feel emotions as strongly as the rest of us, but they don’t know how to process these feelings and express them appropriately. Your job as a parent is to pinpoint the circumstances or things that trigger your child’s aggression.
In some cases it is food allergies or even ‘just’ food sensitivities to things like sugar or artificial flavourings.
In other cases the trigger can be aggressive play. Your toddler may simply not know how to ‘step down,’ or they just don’t realise that when they stop wrestling with their big brother, they need to put a lid on the aggression.
Click on the next page for tips on what to do when your child is being aggressive.