Here's how to help your aggressive child -
Aggression in children can come from any of the following reasons:
1. Too much violence on TV or video games: These are directly known to affect the nervous system and lead to aggression, hyperactivity, lack of concentration.
2. Not getting enough personal attention from parents especially if there is a younger sibling at home: Often our busy lifestyle means that we do things in a generalised way. For example, our outings are trying to do as many things as possible in one trip - grocery shopping, important supplies shopping, meeting a relative, eating out, etc. Being parents, we feel that we have done our duties as parents but what the children need is our personal attention. If there are two children, it is very important to plan at least one to two hours personal time of each parent with each child. This gives them the space needed to open up and express themselves. Which is very rare in today's busy time!
3. Bullying at school or on playground or at home: They cannot share as it is their personal insult but it results in the form of aggression at home where they feel powerful.
4. Some physical disturbances like lower eyesight, hard of hearing, etc.: These children suffer but they do not know that something is wrong with them or that it can be corrected. They are highly self-conscious and hence, often resort to aggression to prove their prowess.
5. Insecurity due to any reason: You need to talk to them and find out if they are feeling insecure and what's making them so.
6. Not able to understand or perform in the class: Many children do not understand the way a particular teacher teaches in a classroom. Also all children do not have aptitude for all subjects and some may not have aptitude for academic excellence - as parents all children are expected to do good in studies just because we send them to good school. This makes it very difficult as they feel pressure on them all the time which can be expressed in aggression or withdrawal.
1. Try to spend a lot of free time with the child. Meaning when you are not pressed for time or any other activity and when you do not talk about studies or his behaviour. Just be there. May be take him out for his favourite activity and share with him your day, your issues at workplace or how you had suffered as a child. This will encourage him also to start speaking his heart out. BUT remember all this takes a lot of time and patience.
2. Formulate a schedule with your spouse so each one of you sits in a casual mood with each of the children separately and just chit chat. Next time change the parent child pair. Listen more and talk less. Talk to him like he is an adult. Don't always overload him with instructions. If he is not studying or behaving now, getting angry is not going to create any miracle.
3. Slowly ask him if he likes all his teachers, his friends or classmates, his subjects and what difficulties he has with each of them. In my practice as an ophthalmologist I have come across many children who could not see the blackboard clearly due to low eye sight but were afraid to accept. But they could not see and hence could not copy from the blackboard and hence, suffered many insults in school as well as from parents.
4. Take your children for regular eye check ups till they are 18 years of age.
5. Children who do not perform well at school are the ones that require help with studies. These children are then sent to tuition classes where again the child is studying in a group and hence not learning or too shy to ask difficulties or again distracted by other children. For such children it is often best to have home tutors who can teach at the speed and understanding the level of the child. Your child will not spend time going to and from the tuition and you will be able to monitor his progress on a personal level with the tutor.
6. Finally please seek face to face counseling for yourself and your child. Often we parents need to understand what to do with our particular child who is unique. Also we need help for our frustrations and tensions so that we can handle them with patience. For the children it is often easy to open up with a non-judgmental outsider than with a parent who is always judging and threatening. I am in the profession of counseling for over 15 years and yet I encourage my children to see other counselors whenever we are not able to get through to each other. I am confident your child can be helped with these tips. For more help you can ask me a question on this site.