Dealing with Violent Behaviour among Children

 
Contributed by : Dr Chintan Solanki, Asha Lalwani   
Dealing with Violent Behaviour among Children

Even your child is aware that hitting is not the right thing. You just need to pin point the problem and solve it.

This kind of behaviour suggests the possibility of some imitation from the environments either inside or outside of the home. If someone in the family is acting in the same way, the child learns from them and imitates the same behaviour. In this particular situation, family therapy is required. It is possible that the child has learnt such behaviour outside the home from his/her peers or other persons. In this case, the child should be taught and counselled about proper behaviour and discipline. If you cannot do the same at home, you can take the help of a psychologist.

If you feel that this behaviour has no explainable reasons, it might be due to some kind of a psychiatric disorder. It can be depression, bipolar disorder, or disruptive mood dysregulation disorder. In this case, where you cannot identify the reasons yourself, it is better to consult a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist at the earliest.


If you are able to find the reasons behind this behaviour, this is what you can do:


  • Prevent it before it’s too late, if you can predict your child’s behaviour and you are around try to be close to your child. Remember hitting comes out of fear, if you are around the child feels empowered to handle the situation and may not lash out. Also, since you are there to monitor keep them away from other children if the situation triggers. Hug the little one and calm him/her.
  • If the child who is hit is without his/her parents around hug him/her before talking to your child. This will also give you some time to calm down, after handling the child who is hit talk to your child to apologise (you too can join him/her to apologise).
  • Instead of playing blame game and saying “you are bad as you have hurt your friend”, rather say “your friend is hurt, hitting hurts and pains”. Blaming the child may create a negative impact on child’s mind and the problem may not get resolved.
  • Even lecturing will not work; avoid the urge to give a lecture to the child in such situations. The child knows that hitting is not okay; it’s just that he/she couldn’t control the feelings, try to make the child feel safe. You can explain the child later during the sleep time on bed. This will have a lasting impact and may result into a positive behaviour.
  • Stay compassionate so that the child can cry or vent out the feelings. The child feels overwhelmed and venting out helps a lot.



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