Children have unique and complicated relationships with one another — they’re able to argue and be friends again in the same day! Because children are prone to swift changes in mood and demeanor, it’s important to address how your child handles aggressive situations. By learning to help influence your child’s aggression in relationships, you’ll be able to curb the likelihood of this aggression turning into something much more severe.
Expression of Feelings
Often, when children argue with friends or family either intensely or subtly, certain signs of aggression are more prominent than others. Pushing, shoving, name-calling, and demeaning are all ways children try to cope with a situation in which they feel threatened or exposed. It’s healthy for children to act on their feelings, of course, but not when it gets to the point of expanded emotions. If you see your child acting aggressively with a sibling, friend, or family member, take your child aside and clearly establish the difference between right and wrong. Even if your child is hesitant to listen, consistency in your message is very important. When repeated enough times, the message will eventually sink in.
As a parent, it’s your job to look for aggressive behaviors and intervene before aggression turns into violence.
Signs of Aggression
In situations where you’re unable to see signs of aggression (such as days your children are at school), it’s still equally as important to be aware of specific signs. If your child is overly emotional when they go to or come home from school, it may indicate that there are aggressive activities going on. Always keep in contact with teachers and those close to your child while you’re away, as they may be able to provide insight into your child’s behaviors. By tapping into multiple sources of information about your child, you’ll be able to stay apprised of any situations that need to be addressed. If none come up, then you’re probably doing a great job!