7 simple steps to calm down an aggressive child
Has it ever happened to you that you are upset about something and you vent out your anger on your family?
It happens to all of us. And we're all the more upset with the fact that everyone just sees our anger, but no one really tries to understand what we're going through. No one is interested to sit with us and listen to what is really bothering us.
We're judged as aggressive and angry, but no one tries to look deep inside us.
Have we ever realized that this is exactly the same what we do with our kids?
Whenever our kids cry or are aggressive, we get angry on them without trying to know the real reason behind it.
We are old enough to understand our own feelings. Still we find it difficult most of the times to express those feelings clearly. Our frustration or tiredness comes out in the form of anger on our family.
Our little kids' minds are underdeveloped. So, they are unable to know what they're feeling.
What we usually do when our kids cry or show tantrums or aggression? We try to control them by:
Whenever kids show aggression or cry, there's always something else hidden behind that behavior. What we do is just try to control what we see.
We don't actually offer them the grace that we ourselves want from others.
Do we help them to become calm, and sit with them to talk about what's really bothering them?
Our kids too expect us to understand their feelings. These little beings are shattered when we don't offer them love and support to express their feelings, and rather scold/punish them.
Here is a list of 7 simple steps to calm down our aggressive child:
- Take the lead: We as parents have to take the first step to remain calm amidst this chaos. Only then we can think rationally. Say to yourself "This is not an emergency." And if it is, then take few deep breaths before you react.
- Be with him physically: Unless the kid is being violent, be with him. Sit with him, try to hug him if it soothes him. If not, then just be physically present and watch him. We're not accepting his bad behavior. We're just supporting him in the form of our presence, and helping him to become calm.
- Keep mum: Being with the kid physically doesn't mean that we agree to his wrong demands. We're with him just to help him with this chaos. There's no need to convince him that you're right when he's at the height of his aggression, because his mind won't accept anything at that moment.
- Hug: It is my experience that kids take few minutes to calm down, specially when parents are around them. And then they end up coming back to us for our love. This is the perfect time for a hug, to reignite the love that was lost in the chaos.
- Talk: Hug is a therapy both for parent and child. It helps both to become calm. When the minds are calm, now is the time to talk.
- Reason: For smaller kids, mostly the reasons for aggression are hunger, tiredness, or want of love (usually when they meet the parent after a long time). So just meet the need and they're calm. For older kids, the reasons go beyond these 3. For older kids, parents can ask questions politely about the reason for aggression. We've to be gentle with them when we talk. Only then our kids will open up.
- The lesson: For reasons other than hunger, tiredness or love, teach proper behavior to younger kids in a gentle manner. For older kids, the reasons for aggression can be manipulative too. It's okay. They're human. We don't need to scold them for being manipulative with us. Be calm, and teach them like a good friend would. Kids need good friends, who teach them the right path. And not dictators who expect 100% compliance to their orders.
One last piece of advice is to let your kids take small decisions for themselves since they're young. It's not wrong. They learn to take better decisions by correcting their past mistakes. It helps in their brain development, and helps them feel confident and independent. We're not going to be with them forever. So leave some small decisions to them, and one day they'll be capable of taking the big and right decisions.
Disclaimer: I am not a parenting expert. I am sharing my lessons learnt through practically applying the principles of positive parenting. And thanks to Author Rebecca Eanes for the book: The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting, which started my journey of positive parenting.
All the best to all the parents. Hope to see you in my journey of positive parenting!!