You asked

How do I teach my child to be less aggressive?

All children can be a little cranky at certain times or lash out at one of their sisters. In fact, breaking up a fight or two is all part and parcel of being a parent. However, if you’re worried that your child might be behaving a little too aggressively then have a look at some of these tips some of our mums have recommended:
 
Respond straight-away:  One of our mums stressed the importance of reacting immediately should you see any signs of aggressive behaviour. This way your child won’t be confused as to why he is being reprimanded. Give him a short time out, approximately five minutes and continue to do the same thing until your child understands that this punishment is a direct result of his behaviour.
 
Lead by example:  Another Mum said that she always tries to keep her temper under check regardless of how tempted she is to fly off the handle. It’s important to set a good example for your child which means no aggressive behaviour from parents!
 
Stick with it: One mum advised that when disciplining her child, she found it hard to keep at it.  However, it is vital that your child understands that every time he misbehaves he will be met with the same response. It is the only way he will learn.
 
Talk it out:  Once your child has cooled down, take a few minutes to discuss his behaviour. Don’t wait too long to talk to him as he will forget about it. Wait about twenty to thirty minutes and then explain that while everyone gets annoyed or angry, it’s not ok to hit someone.
 
Make your child take responsibiliy:  If your child’s behaviour damages someone’s property or makes a mess, he should make it right again. Your child should have to glue a broken toy back together or clean up the juice he spilled on the floor.
 
Reward good behaviour: Try not to only pay attention to your child when he misbehaves, when he tidies the play-room or finishes his homework, reward him. Give him a kiss or a cuddle and tell him how proud you are of him.
 
Don’t be afraid to get help: If you find that your child’s aggressive behaviour has become unbearable then you should speak to his paediatrician or GP.  Your doctor will be able to get to the root of his behavioural issues and determine if a child psychologist or psychiatrist is needed. Remember, by getting help you will be better able to provide your child with the steady, loving guidance he needs to put the behaviour behind him.

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