My child hits other children: what can I do about it?
If bullying and assaults among minors in general is a social problem, it is partly because many parents do not face these kinds of situations when it is their children who hit other children. This asymmetry puts all the pressure on the victims, while in the family environment of the aggressors, permissiveness reigns.
Fortunately, there are adults who take the first step to solve this kind of situation, and ask themselves ” what to do if my child hits other children either at school or outside? “.
In this article we will review several tips and guidelines to follow in order to stop this behavior, acting on the education of the child. Thus, regardless of whether a child engages in bullying dynamics or hits his sibling, we will avoid further damage.
What to do if a child regularly hits other children
Any change requires time and effort, and that means that while it would be desirable for our son or daughter to stop trying to assault others overnight, this is usually not the case. Our efforts should be focused on making the change happen as quickly as possible and causing the least amount of discomfort to others during this process.
Therefore, educational actions must be varied and must be applied in many areas of the life of the child who gives problems.
1. Take him to the psychologist
Many children’s behavioural problems can be solved without the intervention of psychologists, but hitting other children on a regular basis is serious enough to act in a way that is consistent with our concern and resort to professionals who offer personalised psychological attention .
Therefore, the steps that we are going to see below must be initiatives that are complemented with psychological intervention and, in case of doubt, it is important to obey the indications of that person, given that his or her knowledge of the specific case allows him or her to offer solutions that are adapted to what is happening.
2. Make him feel supported in his process of change
It is clear that mistreating other people is morally wrong, but that does not mean that our behaviour towards our son or daughter should be guided by revenge or by the desire to cause him or her physical or psychological harm. Everything we do in relation to the child’s aggressiveness should be aimed at stopping these tendencies, and nothing else.
Therefore, you should feel support in your parents, notice that you have a way to redeem yourself by making an effort to change habits and ways to manage your impulses. She needs to feel responsible for the pain she causes others when she hits, but that does not mean that the weight of our intervention in her education should be focused on guilt. It should focus on the positive and constructive mission of maturing as a person, of being better.
3. Shows exemplary behavior
Not all children who show a tendency towards aggression towards their peers do so because they have taken their parents’ example. But, in any case, we should be especially careful to the other of manage well our own frustrations when assimilating situations that make us angry.
It is better not only not to do it in front of that child who hits other children, but in all our behavior in general, so that it is a more natural and spontaneous tendency.
Furthermore, in this way we will avoid our son or daughter justifying their attacks and aggressions by thinking that our anger is a reflection of what they do to others, that in the end everyone gets involved in actions that create gratuitous and unjustified confrontations.
4. Take an interest in their feelings
It is important to have regular communication with our children, especially if they have been hitting others, to give them the opportunity to express their discomfort. Many times this aggressiveness is the result of frustrations that have nothing to do with the victim and, even, these can be born at home . In addition, this habit of asking how they feel makes them feel supported and see aggressiveness and hostility as an anomaly.
5. Make sure it meets the goals of therapy
The work that is done in the psychologist’s office must have consequences on the child’s day-to-day life, not just the time during which the session takes place. Keep up to date with the therapeutic objectives to be followed and monitor their compliance or non-compliance .
6. Acts at the moment when aggressive behavior starts
Whenever the signs of attacking behaviour, whether physical or verbal, start to occur, you must intervene by reminding them of their commitment to change or by physically avoiding it if there is no other solution. This “relapse” must have consequences, although as we have not seen, not aimed at suffering, but at reinforcing their commitment to a peaceful and non-violent attitude.