One of my childhood friends was very worried after receiving complaints from school about her child. Her daughter was hitting, pushing even biting other children of her class. She was very anxious by this behavior as her daughter is 2.5 years old and speaks well in her mother tongue. She understands and comprehends well but when anyone asks her not to hit the little girl does not pay attention. What could be the possible reason of such aggressive behavior displayed by such a small child?
Before understanding the reasons, parents should not feel embarrassed about the behavior of their child. Embarrassed and frustrated parents do not understand the situation and feelings of the child, most of them end up hitting or scaring the child. Anger is not a solution to this issue and it might further worsen the situation. Don’t worry your child won’t grow up to be a destructive or ruthless adult like Mogambo of Mr. India or Gabbar of Sholay, it is just a phase and will pass by. It is so sad to see that instead of guiding the parents, schools start questioning and blaming the parents. Most of the first time parents are clueless about how to handle such issues and they need some handy tips to do so.
Let us understand the reasons of such behavior and why do children bite, hit, push or pinch other children or even their own family members-
- Desire to seek attention- All of us know that children are attention seekers. They devise novel ways to grab eyeballs of everyone around. The concept of right, wrong, morals and ethics is very ambiguous and vague for them. They want attention and they get it anyhow- hitting others seems an easy way to them. This is commonly noticed when both parents are working or coming back late from office. There could be multiple other such reasons too.
- Feeling of jealousy – Like adults, children too feel jealous. The only difference is that your little one is unable to hide the green eyed monster from others. It is very natural to feel jealous of a friend who has fancy toys. Children can’t control the feeling of jealousy and it oozes out in the form of hitting.
- Comparison with a sibling, peer or friend- Are you drawing comparisons between your child and his cousin or his friend. Mothers have a very natural tendency to compare the eating habits or behavior of their child with that of others. But they don’t know that children are very touchy and dislike the whole idea of comparison. They are bound to react in some form of other, some resort to hitting.
- Unable to express their emotions– Children are still learning to use words and language to communicate. They use gesticulations instead of words many a times and these form an important tool of communication for them. Sometimes they simply want to play or interact with other child but when they reach close they push the child in excitement. All this happens unintentionally and unknowingly.
- Imitating aggressive behaviour– sometimes an adult or a family member could resort to hitting or aggression in front of the child. They think that child is playing and busy with his toys but children have a keen observation and sharp ears. They just imitate or Role play the same aggression from time to time.
- The targeted child might not be sharing his possessions like toys, books or balloons. Children vent out their frustration by pushing or pinching that child.
- Transitional phase– Children are affected by small incidences happening at home or schools. Issues which go unnoticed or we never think that they could have any impact on our child might create a lasting impression on their minds. Example- When a sibling is born, father/mother away for many days, loss of a family member, relatives visiting at home, best friend not coming to school, a favourite object (like a Superman water bottle)being misplaced.
- Women undergo various hormonal imbalances at various stages of their life. Many educated and professionally qualified mothers have to stay at home to take care of their child. All these reasons are enough for a woman to feel frustrated or irritated. The behavior of a mother percolates to child instantly.
- TV cartoons– Thanks to idiot box at home, our children are exposed to aggressive cartoon characters like Shin chan or Jian. They spend long hours watching inappropriate content on TV and they imbibe behavioural traits from it.
- Lack of proper sleep schedule– Lack of proper sleep makes children cranky and they hitting their parents, maids etc.
Easy tips to control biting, hitting and pinching can be read in the following article.