"My 2-year-old son is fighting or biting in the square ... My 15-month-old daughter scratches my face when I come to pick her up at the maternal assistant's ..." Parents are often helpless in the face of the aggression of their children. How to help your children through this crisis?
- A certain amount of aggression is normal during the early years of development, at a time when the child can not express in words how he feels. He asserts his personality, he shows that he feels frustration, an unpleasure. He becomes aware of group life, the need to share toys and the attention of adults. This reaction appears whenever the child has to go through an important stage of his evolution: his resistance, his anger, his refusal to obey, are constructive and structuring demonstrations.
How to react ?
- First, do not respond to his aggression by another aggression (by biting him, pinching him "to show him that it hurts").
- Do not lose your temper (shouting or punishing).
- Stay calm and affectionate. With simple words, tell him that you understand that he may be angry, or sad but that there are rules to follow ("We do not hurt others"). Accompany these words with tender gestures and appeasement.
- Maintain a structuring and reassuring living environment, with limits and prohibitions.
- As your child gets older, teach him to put words on his emotions and express them.
If aggression persists
- If she becomes a mode of communication in all circumstances, she expresses a real emotional discomfort. It is then a warning signal for parents. Instead of concluding "My child is unbearable", we must question what causes this violence. Does it react to too much severity? Does he want to get your attention? Is he upset by arguments? Is he jealous? Or does he have excessive demands because he has been allowed to do too much, which is no longer possible now?
- The child can also reproduce violent behaviors perceived on the screen. The impact of such images is now well known and in a family a young child may tend to watch the same programs as the older ones. Pay attention to the words your child utters when he is aggressive with his peers, the way he behaves at that moment. It is not uncommon for him to imitate sequences of cartoons or films that have greatly impressed him. It will be important to protect your child from this type of television content and to be vigilant about the time spent in front of the screens.
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