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Aggressive Behavior In Pre School Children And Young People Essay

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According to the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, children as young as preschoolers are capable of aggressive behavior. Children younger than five years of age can display different forms of aggressive behavior. These different behaviors can come in the form of temper tantrums, fighting, pushing and even actions that are directed toward harming animals. The behaviors that are exhibited should be taken seriously as they tend to carry over into adolescence and many times adulthood. Aggressive behaviors should be addressed in children because their potential for harming others or themselves is high.

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Young children, younger than the age of five, who are prone to pushing, biting and hitting, in some cases, display this type of aggressive behavior in order to get attention. Others develop behavior that stems from frustrations of toilet training, illness, hunger, moving, divorce and even the birth of a new sibling. Some of this behavior tends to disappear as the child gets older and begins to develop a greater level of social skills and are able to deal with not being the sole recipient of attention. Educators and parents alike who learn to recognize the onset of these behavioral tendencies have a better chance of addressing the behavior and getting the proper attention in order to attempt to prevent these behaviors from escalating. Children who have not learned to deal with aggression by the age of four or five often need to have intervention sessions that are conducted by mental health professionals. Some children respond to therapies alone while some need therapeutic sessions and medications to control their aggressions.

Being able to recognize some of the signs of potential aggressive behavior in young children are related to those who do not often interact with others, children who do not listen or follow

Aggressive Behavior in Pre-School Age Children 2

Directions, those who seem unattached and do not make eye contact; these signs tend to signal a child may develop aggressive behavior and should be watched for in an environment like a classroom.

Why Young Children Show Aggression

Most young children who push, hit or grab are doing so to get attention and get their way, according to the California Childcare Health Program (CCHP). Many children between the ages of one and five have not developed the skills necessary to communicate properly to make their feelings and desires known, and are more likely to experience frustration in group settings, or if the child has limited motor control and verbal skills. This frustration comes out in the form of aggression, writes the CCHP, and can be exacerbated by child stresses like hunger, toilet training, illness or tiredness. Still others may display aggressive behavior following a major environmental change such as a new sibling, a divorce or a move.

Photo Credit temper image by Lisa Eastman from Fotolia.com Children as young as preschoolers are capable of exhibiting violent behavior, according to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). Aggressive and violent behavior can be upsetting to everyone around a child, and should always be taken seriously regardless of how young the child is. Because children who are aggressive often continue to have related problems as they get older, it is important to address behavioral problems early.

Aggressive Behavior in Pre-School Age Children 3

Range of Violent Behavior

Children and adolescents can exhibit a wide range of violent behaviors, according to the AACAP. Even children younger than five can display explosive temper tantrums, physical aggression that includes fighting or attempts to hurt others, cruelty toward animals and even intentional destruction of property.

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Why Young Children Show Aggression

Most young children who push, hit or grab are doing so to get attention and get their way, according to the California Childcare Health Program (CCHP). Many children between the ages of one and five have not developed the skills necessary to communicate properly to make their feelings and desires known, and are more likely to experience frustration in group settings, or if the child has limited motor control and verbal skills. This frustration comes out in the form of aggression, writes the CCHP, and can be exacerbated by child stresses like hunger, toilet training, illness or tiredness. Still others may display aggressive behavior following a major environmental change such as a new sibling, a divorce or a move.

Aggressive Behavior in Pre-School Age Children 4 Behavior Management Strategies

The CCHP discusses strategies to teach children to problem solve and communicate in non-aggressive ways. The CCHP advocates teaching the child words to express feelings or anger and/or frustration and responding with empathetic phrases in return. The establishment of clear limits around acceptable behavior and consequences for the child who breaks the rules is also recommended. Problem-solving with the child, and redirection to help remove the child from a frustrating situation, can also be helpful. As far as modeling, the CCHP recommends role-playing and role modeling to teach children alternative ways to behave and resolve problems.

Involving Professional Experts

The AACAP website points out that many children should have achieved sufficient verbal and social skills necessary to manage situational stresses by the age of three or four. The child who continues to respond to conflict or negative emotions with aggression may need the help of a mental health professional.

Red Flags

The CCHP identifies several warning signs that an aggression problem is serious in a young child.

Those children who are aggressive toward others, themselves or pets should seek medical help immediately. Likewise with the child who rarely listens or follows direction, and who seems unattached and rarely makes eye contact. Another red flag, according to the CCHP, is the child 5 Aggressive Behavior in Pre-School Age Children 4 who does not return to you when in new surroundings, and who frequently chooses violence on TV or in video games.

 



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