Management of tantrums and aggressive behaviors in childhood

Manage aggressive behaviors in our children

Your son is two years old, maybe three, maybe four or more. The point is that he is already much more independent , he does not need as much of you as mom or dad as he did before, he has new interests, he likes and entertains himself by playing alone, although sometimes he likes to do it with friends or with you. He already goes to school, has extracurricular activities and a lot of friends he talks about constantly.

You are happy and proud to see how much he has grown and how much he has developed, to see the new skills that he has acquired and how they change as he grows. However, there is something that does not fill you with such satisfaction, something that makes you feel ashamed when it happens in public and overwhelmed when it happens in private because you don’t know how to handle it.

You have noticed that your child constantly throws tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants, when his needs are not met immediately, or when he doesn’t get the desired attention. From school, the teacher tells you that she has been involved in altercations with some classmates, and that she has shown certain aggressive behaviors, bites, hits, spits, etc. You get overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, you worry about what the mothers of those children will say, you resort to punishments to make him see reason , but they work less and less for you, and finally you run out of strategies to handle the situation.

Well, don’t overwhelm mom or dad, you are not the only one who is going through this situation. Like you, there are millions of mothers and fathers around the world living the same , and feeling the same as you, stressed out, exhausted, overwhelmed and helpless. Like most situations in our life, the heart of the matter is not worrying, but CARING. It is normal for children to go through these stages, even most children do, some at an earlier age than others, in some it is a simple stage that disappears over time , in others it may seem signs of disruptive behavior, however What is common to all of them is that it can be managed and they can improve.

Why do they have these behaviors?

Regularly, when children throw tantrums, tantrums, whine, or exhibit aggressive or disruptive behaviors in their day-to-day lives, they do so because behind that there is some unmet need that needs to be addressed.

It happens that most children, especially at an early age, do not have the necessary strategies to adequately express their emotions , because they do not have the verbal or emotional resources to express a certain emotion, because they do not have the necessary maturity to face it and achieve calm down, and because really, they do not know or even identify them, they do not know which are positive, which are negative and which are neutral, and therefore they resort to crying, screaming, tantrums, hitting, biting, etc., to express their frustration , anger, sadness, stress and even sometimes, even joy.

It is our duty as parents then, to teach them more positive ways of expressing what they are feeling, starting from the identification of their emotions, and how they dominate them.

Other ways to express how you feel

First of all, communication is the most important thing. Many times we tend to think that because they are children and they are small, they are not capable of understanding many things, when it really is not like that. In most cases, if we use language adapted to their age, evolutionary moment and comprehension capacity, we will see how these children can understand us and even contribute ideas themselves. Start by talking to him about his emotions, at times when he is not upset, and you can get his attention.

Do it in a striking way so that they feel interested, currently there are a large number of resources in our favor such as stories, videos, movies, and even the favorite comics of our children can serve us. Explain what emotions are, support yourself with visual resources, they can be emotion letters that you get in your locality, drawings that you download from the internet, or you can even make them yourself.

Show him the basic emotions , joy, sadness, fear, anger, frustration, etc. Ask him questions to keep him interested, ask how his body feels when he feels any of these emotions, what things he feels he wants to do when he feels sad or angry, and what other alternatives he could think of.

Using role plays

You can even appeal for role play , it is a very fun strategy for children and extremely effective. They can play dress-up and invent a scene where there is a problem that they have to solve, or act it out with puppets or dolls. You could pose situations such as: “Mr. Mono was playing with his favorite ball, Mr. Rabbit arrived who liked the ball a lot, and without asking for it, he took it.

This made Mr. Mono very angry… ”and continue from there, you can ask him: What do you think Mr. Mono did when he got angry? How could he have handled it? How did Mr. Mono’s body feel? when angry ?, so that he or she projects their own actions and feelings into what they are interpreting. You will realize that it is a valuable tool , and that in your own verbalizations, you will find the answers to most of the behaviors that concern you.

When it comes to following orders , which is another point in which children usually get upset since they do not like being told what to do, offer him alternatives and be willing to negotiate with him, in addition, it reduces the use of NO . For example, instead of saying, “Go shower and then come to dinner,” you could say, “Would you rather take a bath or dinner first?” Instead of saying, “Don’t jump on the bed,” which seems to say, “My love, I see that you like to jump a lot, what do you think if we do it here on the carpet to prevent you from falling ”. Finally, help him to find more positive ways to express his emotions, empathize with them, remember that behind every “difficult child” there is an emotion that needs to be downloaded and he does not know how to do it or how to express it. Help him understand it, channel it and fix it , as he or she will need your support instead of labels.

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