How To Handle Aggression Among Young Children (4-6 years)
It might seem almost impossible to deal with kids who are defying you at every turn not just verbally, but also physically. It’s important for you to understand what’s causing this aggression and how to handle it.
Here are some things that could be causing agression in your child.
1. Neglecting your kid?
It is found, in most cases that kids who feel neglected tend to act out. It can be something as simple as not listening to your kid when s/he’s trying to tell stories from his/her memory or not acknowledging his/her presence immediately when you come home after work. This triggers emotions in them that they won’t be able to handle and this will most likely translate into aggressive behaviour. Try spending more time with you child and let him/her know that you appreciate him/her.
2. Understanding their emotions
There might be certain things that trigger stress in your child. As a parent, try understanding what triggers this behaviour. Make a note of this pattern and sit down with them to talk about it. Tell him/her that being physical isn’t the only option to situations he/she can’t understand. Try different "if-then" situations like - 'If' your toy is broken, 'then' ask an adult to help you (or) 'if' you don’t like playing with someone, 'then' ask your teacher to switch your playmate. Try to cover as many topics as possible.
3. Teaching empathy
It is hard for your child to process his/her own emotions, let alone give a second thought about others. When you teach your child about how other people feel, it will make him/her not want to do something erratic. For example - if you find that your child has hit another kid, instead of saying ‘It’s wrong, don’t do it’ , say something like ‘The kid is hurting and upset. Look what you’ve done’. This way, before doing something like that the next time, he/she will think twice.
4. Turn aggression into a positive thing
Maybe all that your kid needs is an outlet to release his/her energy. Activities like running, pounding clay, jumping and sports are a few you can get him/her involved in. Even things like theater and musical plays will help him/her voice his/her emotions that are causing stress.
Since every child is unique, your child might not respond the way you expect him/her to. Be patient with him/her, but also take care that his/her aggressive behaviour doesn’t hurt anyone.
If your child is being sent home constantly from school because he/she got in a physical fight with other kids, then it’s time to take things more seriously. Do not hesitate to seek medical help if you feel it’s necessary.