Problem child?

STEAMED UP Teaching him how to use empathy will reduce his outbursts of anger

STEAMED UP Teaching him how to use empathy will reduce his outbursts of anger  

Violence in children can be traced to early upbringing

Children today, are more prone to aggression and violence than they were a generation ago. Although it may seem easy to blame the media and television for this sharp increase, the roots of violence in children and teens go a lot deeper than these external sources. In fact they can be traced to early upbringing and peer group influences that the child was exposed to. Violent and aggressive teenagers are a threat to themselves and to those around them. In fact, they are more than often victims of aggression and violence themselves. They have also probably been exposed to early parental violence. These incidents of violence are extremely difficult for them to cope with and they release this anxiety by crying or by being fearful of such incidents. When violent incidents occur on a very regular basis, children slowly begin to lose their fear of them by withdrawing themselves completely or becoming numb. Violence then, loses its effect and slowly becomes the norm. Aggression becomes a defence against aggression. Some children begin to look up to the aggressor, who obviously appears to be the one in control of the situation. It also seems appropriate that the child imitates the actions of the parent. Contrary to what we believe, aggressive children are the ones who always feel they are the victims. Violence then seems to be a response that they can easily justify.

Low self esteem

Excessive physical punishment is also a major cause of violence in children. This excessive punishment leads them to believe that they are not worthy of being loved. Consequently they grow to become teenagers with low self esteem. A teenager with low self-esteem is likely to choose violence as an outlet for all the negative feelings he has about himself. An aggressive child believes that another child has hurt him on purpose and so he is merely defending himself. Gradually he begins to enjoy the power he has to hurt people and make them take notice. He builds his self esteem by hurting others. Information, education and understanding can go a long way when it comes to dealing with an aggressive child.Here's how: Rules about not hurting othersHurting others as a defence should be completely ruled out. This applies even to parents. The child identifies with the parent and so the parent should exhibit an alternative way of dealing with anger by reporting it and making the child understand.The child should be able to identify an angry tone and stop the undesired behaviour. This comes with practice. Explain to the child when he is in a good mood. Being in the others shoesExplain to your child how his behaviour hurts the other child. Teaching him how to use empathy will reduce his outbursts of anger. Ask him to imagine what he would feel if her were in that child's place. How to put thinking before feelingAsk your child about school. Are there any incidents when children resort to violence? What does he do when he faces with such a situation? You could explain how important it is for him to use his thinking before he gets into a fight. A sense of justiceChild rearing practices that have been consistently fair will result in a child who is fair and just in all situations. Walking away from a fight does not mean he is a coward, he is just making the right choice. We need to bear in mind that we live in a world where countries are frequently at war with each other, terrorists destroy thousands of innocent lives and children are either victims or become aggressors themselves.To create a society that is just, non-violent and free from aggression, we can begin right in our homes, with our children and ourselves.FIONA SCOTT

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