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May 01, 2018 Tuesday 03:32:05 PM IST

Handle that Aggressive Child in a Better Way!

Parent Interventions

Anyone who has raised children or grown up with siblings knows there are some bumpy times in a child’s life. When the smallest upset causes a major tantrum. Or when it’s close to impossible to get them out the door on time for school. Or when your adorable angel acts like a wild animal.

The research team at the University of Sydney’s Child Behaviour Research Clinic (CBRC) has studied the aggression, non-compliance, rule-breaking and excessive tantrums in children aged two to 16.

As per their findings, intervention of parents in their early childhood can help the children to an extend to be in control of their own emotions. The study urges the parents to follow certain strategies which can help them to manage the child.

1) Rewarding good behaviour:

Appreciate and reward the child when he/she behaves good, such as cooperatively playing with a sibling. 

2) Rewarding good behaviours even in the context of discipline: 

This might mean enthusiastically praising a child for helping to pack away toys, having disciplined him or her for being destructive with those toys just moments earlier.

3) Responding to misbehaviour immediately:

Parents should respond to the misbehaviour immediately, with a calm and clear instruction that directs the child to what they should instead be doing. For instance, get the child’s attention and say, “The way you are speaking is very rude, you need to use a nice voice”.

4) Responding immediately to escalations with a consequence:

Sometimes the parent has to intervene and take the child away from the problem scenario. The child should know the gravity of the mistake done by him/ her. For this, the parents may implement a brief time-out or quiet time. This is where the child sits alone somewhere safe and boring and is only permitted to leave once they have been quiet for a period; say, two minutes.

These strategies can act as an effective circuit-breaker for cycles of parent-child escalation. They also provide young children with opportunities to develop vital skills in self-regulation.

With simple strategies such as these, parents can avoid accidentally rewarding misbehaviour, which is easy to do when these behaviours demand so much time and attention.

Why the children are more stressed these days?