Causes of and Tips for Aggressive Behavior in Children

Do you feel that your child is behaving aggressively and violently? Children are increasingly displaying aggressive behavior in today’s society. Some may even show low tolerance for stress and explicit violent behaviors.  In some children this may just be a phase, but whenever a child displays aggressive behavior parents and teachers should help the child express his feelings in a more appropriate way.

What are the Causes of Aggressive Behavior in Children?

Some of the causes of aggressive behavior include:

  • Child abuse at home, whether physically or emotionally.
  • Having friends who are violent in their behavior.
  • Circumstances that place children under stress.
  • Emotional problems.
  •  Lack of proper communication skills.
  • Low self-esteem.

How to Identify Aggressive Behaviors

Children who have aggressive tendencies often provoke others and are frequently involved in arguments and fights with others, when compared to the other children. They may have few friends and bully the weaker children in their age group. They have a great need to win in all arguments and fights and they may like to scare the other children.  These behaviors may alienate the child further from his peers.

Ways to Deal With Aggressive Children

Here are some ways to deal violent children:

Teach Them to Empathize:

Guide the child to view the situation from the other person’s perspective. Help him to recognize that his behavior is inappropriate and that he is hurting other people. Make use of books or a DVD that is well known to the child to explain different emotions to him. Values like respect; care for others and empathy are best taught by treating the child the way you want him to treat others.

Exemplify Acceptable Behavior:

Children observe how their parents treat others and then mimic the same behavior while interacting with their peers. If you want your child to handle conflict without lashing out verbally or physically you should do the same when interacting with other adults and children.  Your child is likely to follow your example.

Differentiate Between Right and Wrong:

Parents should help their children to distinguish between what is right and wrong. A child should know that hurting somebody physically is not the right thing to do even when he was provoked. Praise the child when he behaves well and help him by removing him from the situation and providing a safe place for him to express his feelings when he shows aggressive behavior.

Give Him Alternatives to Express Himself

When children are not able to verbalize their feelings, frustration may build up. Some children lack good enough communication skills to say how they really feel. Teach your child an emotional vocabulary to help him express his feelings in an appropriate way.

Remove Him From The Situation

When your child shows aggressive behavior remove him from the situation and give him time to calm down. Provide any support that he may need to get his emotions under control.

There is always a reason why a child acts aggressively. He may lack self confidence and is trying to hide it or has deep seated hurts and feelings of rejection and alienation. Children with aggressive behavior need just as much support as the victims of their aggression.

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