Tantrums, fits, bullying, fights; as a child care provider, I have seen it all and out of the most unlikely little one’s too. So what can I do to help? Well, lots I do believe.
The key to taming a child’s aggression is to a. expect it and b. focus on keeping yourself and the other children safe in the moment.
Yes, you heard that correctly. Often, I hear from others; control your kids, control this, control that, well quite frankly that is how this bullying epidemic started in the first place – wrong attitude. Instead, I teach babies and children to take responsibility for their feelings and subsequent actions as a result of mismanaged feelings. I also let them cry it out at times and leave them alone to deal with a complicated situation. I will kindly ask, “Would you like to talk about this?” but I also accept that the answer is typically no and do not take it personal.
If we do not trust our children, how are they ever going to trust in themselves? How will they ever learn self-esteem? To eventually love another human being? The answer is they won’t ever grow-up as long as we control their lives. I do not believe there is anything loving about being overly controlling with your kids. We all learn through trial and error and our kids are of course no exception to this rule.
So, the best way to tame a child’s aggression in my opinion, talk to them while they are calm about positive ways to handle negative emotions. I encourage my kids to dance and sing if they feel upset or to even take really deep breaths in and out. Tearing up scrap paper can also be a healthy way to deal with aggression. Sometimes, I even turn on a guided meditation video. Sure, they are too young to really understand and I do not force the kids to listen and/or engage but it can’t hurt to start subliminal peaceful resolution training young. I also firmly oppose putting hands on others to deal with anger and aggression.
This transition from blaming others for the way you feel shifts quickly to taking responsibility for your own feelings which is a habit you want to create in your child as young as possible.