Are you struggling with a child who bites and throws toys? Do you get frequent calls from school about your son’s aggressive behavior in the classroom and on the playground? Do you feel like screaming at your daughter when you see her hit a sibling? Do you see the hitting, kicking, and punching between your children day after day and fear that it won’t ever stop? Are you tired of having to tell one of your children to leave the other alone? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, please read on.
The fact is that if something isn’t done soon to stop the aggressive behavior, it will only get worse. Children don’t simply grow out of aggressive behavior, and they don’t just figure out how to manage their aggression on their own. They need assistance and guidance from the adults around them, and they need it now.
Managing aggression is a skill that your children can learn. But in order to learn it, they need to be taught. That’s where you come in. Your role and that of other parents, teachers, and administrators is to teach children aggression management. Following are four steps you can take right now to begin the process.
Turn off the television and the video games.
Abundant research points to the negative effects of television and video game exposure on children. Children are being overexposed to aggressive and even violent behavior through both television and video games. This exposure promotes aggression in children first by showing them that violence is a way to resolve conflicts. Second, children become less sensitive to violence when they view repeated images of aggressive behavior. Third, violent and aggressive behavior encourages a belief that the world is “mean and scary.”
Don’t be fooled by ratings or by the time slot on the TV schedule. Just because a program appears on Saturday morning or a game is rated E doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Review and preview everything. Sit and watch television with your children. Play their video games and watch them play the games. You may be amazed at the content…
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