Preschoolers, as had been noticed in the previous articles related to the child’s psychology, have their own ways of understanding the events and reacting upon them. The young children are too small to determine the right and the wrong, so they may react violently in the situations involving strong emotional response from them. This doesn’t make the child bad, however, as parent, you should teach your child to deal with his/her feelings. This will prevent him/her from having problems future in life.
What should you do if the child behaved violently?
- First of all, never ignore, connive or encourage child’s violent behavior. No matter if your child or your child’s friend is an aggressor, you need to take control of the situation.
- The aggressor needs to be shown the damage he/she caused, may it be a scratch, a bite mark, any reddened area or an emotional harm expressed in tears. Explain the preschooler in an authoritative tone that this is not acceptable. Scold him/her and say that kicking, biting, pushing, hitting are non allowable types of behaviour.
- Give a “time out” to an aggressor by removing him/her from the playing area for 5 minutes leastwise. The child will be made to sit quietly. Don’t allow the child to rejoin the others and say that he/she will have to play alone for the next 10 minutes.
- Talk to the child again and encourage him to apologize for his/her behaviour. You may ask the child to hug the offended child, give a positive attention to him/her and not to the offender.
It is important to notice that the combination of factors can be a cause
or a booster of the child’s violent behavior. Adults have to take it into account as well.
- Some TV cartoons may present kicking, hitting, beating as a funny thing as soon as the cartoon characters can’t get hurt. The child’s mind nevertheless will take this as truth and when hitting someone he/she won’t realize it can cause damage. Limit the amount of time the child watches the TV.
- Poor parenting like erratic, harsh discipline, ignorance, limited participation in child’s activities. So the parent should get involved in child’s life as much as possible, help him/her overcome difficulties.
- Complicated socio-economic situation in the family can make a child nervous, anxious, tense, and he/she will try to find way out in expressing it in violence towards others.
- Exposure to violent demeanor at home, school or a community may influence young children’s mind after which they get engaged in violence themselves.
- The cause of violence can be genetic. Inherited anti-social behaviours lead to that such children are likely to develop a conduct disorder.
The above mentioned factors can be eliminated or reduced to decrease violent behaviour in young children. These efforts have to be taken in the home, community and school in conjunction. The help of qualified mental health professionals can be considered too. They usually help children to learn how to control his/her anger, express it in appropriate ways, and be responsible for his/her actions and except consequences.