How to treat aggression in children? Find the best child psychiatrist near you.

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How to treat aggression in children? Find the best child Psychiatrist near you.

Aggression is seen in every individual in this world? Whether it's an adult or a child? Are children born with an aggressive instinct or do they learn to be aggressive? Let us find the meaning of aggression.

Aggression means being angry, frustrated with a situation or people, aggressive behaviour can be verbal or physical like shouting, yelling, being verbally abusive, self-harm, hitting someone. As we can see aggression has various forms. Hence, as a parent, a caretaker or teacher, we need to understand the trigger point of the child and why they are behaving in such a manner. Reasons could be many such as the child having a bad day at school or at home. The child gets into bullying, stealing, shows dominant authority, throws temper tantrums at home because of parents fighting, is not accepted in a group, shows irritability during sibling’s fights, hurting others for self-pleasure. Early puberty in girls can also increase aggressive behaviour same as late puberty in boys can lead to aggressive behaviour because of hormonal changes in their body. There are various other reasons which the parents, teachers and caretakers need to find out.

Well in earlier days our parents used to be strict and very punctual with a particular routine which was followed by the entire family as we used to stay in a joint family. In the 21st century, there are very less number of joint families staying together and more nuclear families. During those days we didn’t have the privilege of modern equipment or gadgets and hence we had a lot of time to indulge in various activities done at home with family, cousins and friends. But currently, the scenario is different. Our children are more on-screen rather than on the ground. Extensive use of technology in the last two years and less communication with the parents or grandparents leads to more aggression in children.

Below are the strategies used for helping your child to tame their aggression: -

Identify the triggers in your child - Before finding a solution we need to identify what the problem is hence try to maintain a diary and note down any specific triggers/ stressors which is then followed by aggressive behaviour; once it has been identified you can avoid or modify the trigger/stressor. For e.g. Do tantrums happen every morning before going to school? Work on structuring your morning routine. Set a goal and break down the task in simple steps and give them a time warning with the help of the alarm. So that they are ready before the actual time. Follow the same routine for at least two weeks if the child is able to accomplish the goal, the child should be appreciated for his hard work and a reward should be given for the same.

Stay calm- If the child is expressing a lot of emotions or when your child meltdowns. We may feel angry at our child but instead of yelling at the child, we need to try to model emotional regulation in him or her. Like explain to them the appropriate behaviour for certain situations with logical reasoning and train them.

Don’t give attention to temper tantrums and aggressive behaviour- For example, if your child is throwing temper tantrums in a grocery store to buy his or her favourite chips. Don’t react immediately and buy the chips and if you buy immediately it shows that you are rewarding and reinforcing the inappropriate behaviour. Instead, you need to distract the child’s mind and avoid him or her for some time.

Reward them for appropriate/desired behaviour - Whenever your child has done a great job or well behaved in social gatherings or helped the parents in house chores, appreciate and reward them for good behaviour with pizza’s, spending time with them in a park, going cycling, surprising them by calling their friends at home etc.

Naming the emotions - you can say to them “I can tell that you are really angry right now”. This validates what your child is feeling and encourages verbal, instead of physical expression towards the situation. Make them understand that different emotions make us behave in a different manner for e.g. When you are sad you cry, when happy you smile, when confused you try to find answers by asking people. etc.

These were the few tips that would be useful for the parents, teachers and caregivers to help their child to control the aggressive behaviour in children. You have been trying to give your best and still, it doesn’t work out then it is better to seek some professional advice. Mpower, the mental health initiative by Aditya Birla Education Trust, has an expert team in the following field: psychiatrist, psychologist, special educator, speech therapist, and occupational therapist under one roof. The approach towards client growth is seen in a very holistic way. MPower is located in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Kolkata. Find the centre nearest to you-

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