3 Tips For Helping A Young Child Deal With Their Aggression

Unfortunately many young children will use aggression to get what they want. It is not unusual for a young child to hit or bite when they want something they cannot have, or when they are unable to express themselves. If you have a young child who is showing aggression towards adults, or other children, you must address it immediately.

Here are 3 things that you can do to help the child to stop hitting or biting:

1. Do Not Hit Back

Some people believe that if they strike the child back, the child will learn that hitting hurts and not want to do it anymore. This is rarely the case. Instead, you might send the message that hitting or physical violence is the right way for dealing your frustration or anger.

If you are trying to show the child that hitting or biting hurts, let them show themselves. Perhaps you could take the child's forearm and put it up to their mouth or teeth. While doing this, say directly, but not aggressively, "biting hurts, do not bite." This way you are not inflicting violence on the child. 

2. Reward Good Behavior

One of the best ways to deal with bad behavior is to focus on the good. Children naturally want to please their caregiver. If you can reward the child for their good behavior and make them feel good about themselves, you could avoid the bad behavior.

For example, consider the interaction between a toddler and a baby. If the toddler is being soft with the baby and playing nicely, instead of smiling to yourself and thinking that it is great that they are playing so well, walk over and compliment the child. Say something like, "thank you for being soft, you are such a good boy/girl." By doing this you help to avoid an outburst.

3. Remove The Child

The child needs to learn that there is no tolerance for violence. If the child hits or bites another person, they need to be removed from the situation. Explain that they no longer get to play with others if they cannot control themselves. Timeouts are ideal. After the child has spent some time alone to calm down, you can allow them to try again, with supervision. You should never endanger another innocent child while trying to teach the aggressive child to be kinder.

By doing these things you can help a child who is showing aggression. For more help, you need to talk to professionals. Try contacting a company like Pediatric Consultants of Mansfield with any questions or concerns you have.