Has this ever happened to you? Your child walks up to you, looks you right in the eye, and then completely out of the blue, pushes you?
Sometimes children ask for connection in the most challenging of ways. And it’s not their fault. In this article here, Patty Wipfler explains why children act aggressive when they are feeling disconnected, and how this can trigger fear and upset that causes them to lash out. Sometimes this disconnection can happen because of difficult experiences where they felt scared.
We probably don’t even need to tell our children that pushing or hitting is wrong (no child really wants to hurt others). What they do need us to is help them to process whatever stress or upset is behind their behaviour. Listening to tears can help. Laughter also plays a part.
It can take a lot of patience and understanding to save the lectures and act in a connecting way when your child lashes out. If you can manage the following game, it’s a great way to prevent aggressive behaviour from recurring. So when your child pushes you you might want to say in a playful way, ”hey!” and then actually encourage the behaviour. Tell your child that you hope they don’t push you into the living room/bathroom etc. And then stand waiting for them to push you. I’m sure they’ll take you up on your offer to play!l When you get there act all surprised about what you’re doing there. Repeat as long as they are laughing. Try pushing back (as long as it’s not to hard!) and walk backwards if that gets your child giggling.
Read here why getting giggles out in the moment actually reduces off-track behaviour.
For further reading Larry Cohen’s Playful Parenting is packed full of Giggle Parenting ideas.
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