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Aggression in Children

  • Date Submitted: 02/11/2012 01:23 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.3 
  • Words: 972
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Aggression, hitting, and biting

Why do children tend to get aggressive?
Shocking as it may, aggressive behavior is a normal part of a toddler's development. Still-emerging language skills, a fierce desire to become independent, and undeveloped impulse control make children this age prime candidates for getting physical. "Some degree of hitting and biting is completely normal for a toddler," says Nadine Block, executive director of the Center for Effective Discipline in Columbus, Ohio. That doesn't mean you should ignore it, of course. Let your toddler know that aggressive behavior is unacceptable and show him other ways to express his feelings.
What should someone do?
Follow up with logical consequences. If your child gets into the ball pit at the indoor play center and immediately starts throwing the balls at other kids, take him out. Sit down with him and watch the other kids play, and explain that he can go back in when he feels ready to join the fun without hurting other children. This happened to me while I was in the playing area with the children at the Creche, I tackled it easily as I was ready for this aggression. Avoid trying to "reason" with your child, such as asking him, "How would you like it if he threw the ball at you?" Toddlers don't possess the cognitive maturity to be able to imagine themselves in another child's place or to change their behavior based on verbal reasoning. But they can understand consequences.

Keep it cool. Yelling, hitting, or telling the child he's bad won't get him to become obedient— you'll just get him more riled up and give him examples of new things to try. In fact, watching you control your temper may be the first step in his learning to control his.

Set clear limits. Try to respond immediately whenever your toddler is aggressive. Don't wait until he hits his brother or any toddler for the third time to say, "That's enough!" He should know instantly when he's done something wrong. Remove him from the situation...


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