Aggressive Child - Parenting Question about Helping an Aggressive Child
Aggressive Child - Parenting Question and Answer
I am a stay at home mom of four children. Their ages are 1,3,5, and 8. My 5-year old is Rylan. For the past year, we have been trying to figure out how to help him! He can be an aggressive child. When Rylan gets mad, upset or feels like something is unfair, he tends to hit, kick, push, rip things out of other kids hands, calls anyone that is listening stupid, idiot, and dumb a**. I am at a loss as to how help him. His preschool has sent him home 2 times this week. I have no clue if I should send him to Kindergarten or home school him for a bit.
Should I get really strict with the discipline or take him for counseling? I feel like a total failure as a mom. I love him so very much as I do the rest of my children. Rylan can be so VERY gentle and loving but when he is bad, he is REALLY bad! My husband is a log truck driver so he is gone usually from 2 am to about 4-6 pm. I deal with the majority of discipline in our home and when there is a problem, my husband rarely steps up and takes control.
Don't get me wrong I love my husband, he is just no good at confrontation with adults or even children. I pray for Rylan every night and I have done a lot of research on vitamins and minerals. He is currently taking a natural vitamin/mineral mixture that was made for children with ADD. It is call Liquid Health: Attention. What else can or should I do to help him? I do not want to ignore these issues, I feel like if I do that I will be telling him it is okay to act this way......I am tired of beating my head against this brick wall!! Any info is GREATLY APPRECIATED!
Answer to the parenting question about helping an aggressive child change his behavior.
First of all, I'd like to acknowledge you for all you've done. It is tough raising four children without the emotional support of your husband, who is understandably tired from his long shifts and may be unwilling to step up to the plate when it comes to helping out with discipline. Second, I want to confirm that you are right: do not turn a blind eye to Rylan's child aggression because it will only worsen as he gets older. One day, he will be bigger and stronger than you and if you don't help him overcome his child aggression now, you'll have even bigger problems when he's a teenager.
An aggressive child does not know how to manage his emotions and so, he lashes out when he feels a sense of overwhelm. As a parent, you need to teach Rylan how to channel his frustration and anger positively. This requires that you be a role model in terms of how you express your own anger and frustration. It also means that you need to help him through the process of learning to manage his emotions at home. As he learns how to express his feelings without hurting others, he will show this same self-control outside the home.
One thing you may want to consider is holistic supplementation. Sometimes kids just don't get the nutrients they need for proper brain development (which helps children cope with stress). I recommended a holistic product developed specifically for aggressive child behaviors - this is an all-natural remedy that will not interact with any medication the child is taking. From what parents have told me, the supplement really works. Click on the link to read some of their testimonials. Although the information focuses on kids with ADHD, it also works for kids who are aggressive.
Another supplement you might consider is a product that helps with mood swings, irritability and agressive child behavior.
A great tool to use in conjunction with nutritional therapy for a particularly defiant child is a behavioral tool that was developed by a therapist who has helped countless parents help their children control impulses, calm themselves and make good choices. You can use this tool at home to make immediate and lasting changes in your child's behavior.
Keep in mind that if you use corporeal punishment at home, you are teaching your son that it's okay to hit someone when feeling angry, frightened or frustrated. Children mirror their environment and if there is chaos or physical or emotional turmoil in the home, they will act out this behavior elsewhere.
You mention that you are giving your child a supplement for ADD, but you did not say whether he has been given a medical diagnosis. Has he actually received a diagnosis from a doctor or are you just treating him for something you think he might have? If so, get him to a doctor for an evaluation. If he has been to a doctor, this behavioral program for kids with ADHD & ADD will teach you how to teach him to focus.
Most parents don't realize that an aggressive child is crying out for help.
Since you are at your wit's end, you need support to do what is necessary to help your son overcome his aggressive child behavior. Show your husband this article. Read it out loud to him if you must. It takes two parents to raise a child and you need your husband in your corner.
He does not need to step in and take control as much as he needs to start backing you up. By inviting him to be your backup, you are encouraging him to take the small steps that will make him a more integral part of Rylan's life. Parents need to be a part of a child's life during the good times, as well as during the struggles. This will help your husband to feel better about himself as a father and strengthen his emotional bond with his son.
Help your husband to understand that Rylan needs his firm and loving guidance if he is to grow out of his aggressive child behavior and develop into a man who will have a happy life and enjoy healthy relationships with others. Tell your husband I said that by refusing to get involved, he is giving up on a five-year old! And on some level, Rylan knows this. Not only is this unfair to Rylan, it is unfair to you and the rest of your family who have to put up with Rylan's aggressive child behavior. Most parents don't realize that an aggressive child is crying out for help. Rylan needs his dad to help you help him.
Rylan's aggressive child behavior reveals a deeper need that has gone unmet. You say that you deal with the majority of the discipline in the home, but you didn't say how
you deal with it. Since most parents confuse discipline with punishment, let me just say this: although Rylan definitely needs strong limits, punishment will not help him meet his unmet needs, nor will it show him how to correct his behavior. When you punish a child for acting out, you are putting the emphasis on what he did wrong, but you are not teaching him how to behavior appropriately.
I strongly suggest that you read my book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting The book explains child development and helps parents understand how to guide a child's emotional development and engage him in ways that will help him feel good about himself. This empowers the child to make healthy choices and create caring relationships with others. Right now, as an aggressive child, Rylan feels powerful and self-entitled when he is hurting others. We want to turn this around, help him feel good about himself, teach him how to express his hurt and frustration positively and help him gain a sense of power from helping and caring for those within his circle.
You should consider taking my parenting class this summer because I sense that you are a caring mom, but are confused and are truly at your wit's end. In this six week teleseminar, I will teach you how to create a closer relationship with your son, so that he can use this as a model for creating close relationships with others. I will show parents how to cultivate emotional maturity in their children and how to engage them in ways that give them a strong sense of self worth, which will prevent them from falling prey to peer pressure later on. I will also be answering parenting questions after each call. Since I receive many questions about what parents term a "prickly" or an aggressive child, I will make sure to address this issue.
Finally, please don't allow yourself to feel like a failure as a mother. You are doing your best to raise four children. Perhaps you have exhausted your resources with regard to helping an aggressive child, but you have not given up. In fact, you show good faith by reaching out and trying to find solutions you have been unable to come to on your own. You are fighting for the emotional well-being of your child and that, my friend, is admirable.