A 5-year-old hitting other children at school is enough reason for any parent to get worried. Being a parent to an aggressive child is quite demanding in that as much as you would want the quit such behavior, you still have to address his/her emotional needs. Unlike adults, children are not aware of most rules of engagement while playing or interacting with other children. Some of the effective ways on how to stop a 5-year-old from hitting in school are listed below.
When you notice that the child is expressing aggression by hitting other children, you should step in immediately to remove the child from that situation. This is very important as it shows the child that what he/she is about to do or has done is wrong and unacceptable. While removing the child from the situation, ensure that you do not give him/her too much attention to avoid providing negative reinforcement to his/her bad behavior. Since children are not able to comprehend long explanations, you can caution him/her with a stern affirmative statement like “We don’t hit others”.
Set an example
Despite how angering the child’s behavior is to you, ensure that you do not hit, yell or tell off the child in a rude and offensive manner. When you yell or scold the child aggressively, he/she might presume that verbal aggression to other people is appropriate and thus acceptable. However, this is not the case as verbal aggression is as bad as hitting other children and neither of these methods is acceptable. Instead, you should control your temper by ensuring that you do not let his/her ill behavior agitate you too much.
Teach your child that aggression is not right
Your child needs to understand that aggression is wrong and should be condemned in all ways possible. This understanding is very important in enabling the child to refrain from hitting other children when he/she feels agitated while in school. Children learn very fast and will rarely do something they have been warned against. Therefore, if you teach your child that he/she should not resolve to hit other children at school when he feels angry, he/she will most likely not repeat it again.
Teach your child safe ways of defusing anger
Anger will always be a part of everyone’s life and how well we defuse it determines the reaction we will have towards the people who have angered us. As such, you should teach your child that there are better ways of defusing his/her anger rather than hitting other children. For instance, you can teach the child to walk away from situations that make him/her feel angry while at school. Your child needs to be aware of how he/she can handle their anger and remain calm even when you are not around.
Teach your child how to communicate during stressful situations
For starters, it is worth understanding that aggression expressed through biting or hitting can give children a false sense of feeling powerful over their peers. When such is the case, the child may result in being physically aggressive anytime he/she feels that they need to get some “respect” from their peers. This is why you need to teach your child how to use effective communication skills whenever he/she feels agitated thereby allowing him/her to use socially acceptable behavior of expressing anger. Teach your child the virtue of saying “NO” to assert him/herself and walk away instead of behaving aggressively.
Shield the child from watching violent TV shows or playing violence-based video games
At times, children become aggressive to others when mimicking a violent scene they saw on the TV or in a video game they played. When you control the visual content that your child is exposed to while watching or playing video games, you can considerably lower the likelihood of the child getting aggressive whenever wronged at school. TV shows and video games have an immensely great influence on a child’s behavior and may distract the kid from using peaceful approaches/methods whenever wronged by other kids.
Have a conversation about what happened
After your child has cooled down and can be able to calmly discuss the whole situation without getting angry, you should talk it out with him/her. Let the child explain why he/she got angered by the other child and what may have triggered the outburst. Sometimes, a child may have been agitated by a very small and minor issue that did not necessarily need a reaction from him. However, he/she may not know such information unless you tell him/her. When having this conversation with your child, it is important to stress the need for using peaceful and friendly methods to resolve conflicts.
The most efficient way to stop your 5-year old from being aggressive and destructive to other people’s property is by making your child responsible for his/her actions. If for instance, the child hurts another child, he/she should apologize to the child and promise not to repeat what it again. If the child destroys another child’s toy by being aggressive, he should fix the toy by piecing it back or gluing the broken parts together. Instilling this sense of responsibility in your child is very important and efficient in countering aggressive behavior.
Be a good role model for your child
Most of the time, children copy what they see their parents doing at home or in other places. If you treat your partner or other children aggressively when they offend you, your child will presume that it is right to be aggressive to others since dad or mum also does the same. As a parent, you have the responsibility of ensuring that you set a good example for your child by handling aggressive situations in a way that does not hurt other people whether intentionally or otherwise.
Imparting the right skills in your 5-year-old goes a long way in enabling the kid to be respectful and responsible in the future. You can shape your kid’s future by showing him/her the right way while he is still young and has not developed ill and unpleasant behavior. Teaching your child how to live in harmony and love with other children will help them in being compassionate and generous when interacting with other people at school or in other public places.