As a parent we have probably all come into situations with an aggressive child. There is always that kid at the park that pushes the other kids or a kid at school that can’t keep their hands to themselves. My daughter once came home from daycare with a bite mark on her arm. We have all been there and it can be heartbreaking and really frustrating. How do we deal with an aggressive child that is not our own?
Many times I would like to go over to the child and yell at them and tell them that it’s not ok. I know that in most situations that’s probably not such a good idea. The parents probably wouldn’t be too happy. I have to remind myself that it is not my child or my place. I cannot discipline someone else’s child as I would my own, although I would like to. What can we do instead?
The first thing we can do is to stop the aggressive act. If you see a child is pushing or hitting, simply tell them “no hitting” or “no pushing”. I am that parent that keeps a close watch on an aggressive child. Sometimes all you need to do is give them that look like, I’m watching you! Usually that will stop them in their tracks. Make sure they know that their aggressive behavior is not going to fly as long as you are around.
Tell The Parent
If the parent is nearby and didn’t see the incident then let them know. That way you are giving them the opportunity to correct the aggressive behavior. Unfortunately telling the parent doesn’t always help. There are many parents that could care less if their child is pushing or hitting another child. Probably because they think they are just being kids. Some parents even see the incident and do nothing. What do we do if that happens?
Remove Your Child
If you come across an aggressive child the best thing we can do for our kids is to remove them from that situation. I explain to my child that we don’t want to play there because that kid isn’t being nice. You should suggest playing somewhere else and redirect their attention. I will say “lets go play on the slide” or “lets go on the swings”. Whatever it takes to get your child away from the aggressive child.
Teach Your Child
Although no one wants to see their child being hurt it can be a huge learning tool. We can teach our child how to stand up for themselves by using their words. The next time an aggressive kid hurts your child tell them to say “Don’t push me!” or “Don’t hit me!”. We have to teach them that hitting back is not the solution. They need to know that there are other ways to defend themselves. They should be able to walk away from the situation and let an adult know.
I hope this advice will help you and your child to better deal with an aggressive child. We cannot keep our kids in a bubble forever. It is not easy, but it is all part of growing up. How do you deal with another person’s aggressive child? I would love to hear your advice. Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the list!