By: Ryan Elnar
Just like us adults, kids also get overwhelmed in the simplest of things such as when they feel hungry, tired, or feel frustrated. The reasons may seem petty for us but it is not for our preschoolers as oftentimes, it is a challenge for them to express their feelings through words. As a result, they tend to act aggressively by hitting, biting, or kicking their peers or even us.
Other reasons for such aggressive behavior may be because they see it as a way of getting what they want, whether, it is a toy or just seeking our attention.
While this phase is normal in a child’s growing years, it is of great importance that we help put them in a direction of properly expressing themselves instead of resolving into an aggressive attitude. Here are some ways that we can support our child:
Let them know what behavior is acceptable and what is not. It is our role to help them distinguish what is right from wrong. As soon as they calm down, you may start by asking them, “Do you want the same thing to be done to you?” or “What would you feel if your friend or your sibling will also hit you?”
More often than not, they will say that they will not want anyone to hurt them and realize how unpleasant it is to be on the receiving end of bad behavior.
Tell them what should be done. After realization, teach them the proper attitude as well. If they hurt someone, teach them to apologize and make up for their wrongdoing.
Commend them for positive behavior. Instead of trying to catch them and correct them for a mistake, a better approach is to praise them for good deeds. Nurture those good behaviors by being specific about their actions like, “Very good or so kind of you for sharing your toy with your younger brother.”
Be careful about how you label them. You may probably have heard of a saying in the context of, how you label yourself will become your reality.
The same is true for children. Calling them hard-headed, impulsive, or describing them for bad behavior will make them one. So it is best to label them on a positive note.
Be patient and never resolve into any form of physical punishment. Kids mirror our actions so it is important to control our temper when instilling discipline to them. Doing so may send them the wrong signal that spanking or hitting back is the appropriate way to resolve a conflict. Worse, they might interpret it as a form of your love for them.
Talk to them. Nothing beats a calm manner of explaining to them what could be done with each situation. Let them understand the limits and what could be the consequences of their action.
Teach your kids to acknowledge that anger is a normal human emotion but being angry at someone should not be dealt with any aggressive action.
Lastly, never forget to always express how much you love and care for them. Make them feel that no matter what, we will always be present to support their emotional needs.
Ryan Elnar is a proud Filipino daddy blogger. He started Dad and More to share the stories of his journey in raising a family. Ryan believes that beyond formal education, discipline and values are far more important heritage a parent can give to his children.