8 Strategies For Curbing Violent Behavior

  1. Form healthy, loving attachments with your child. Research has shown that children need a minimum of 5 caring adults to help them grow up happy and healthy. Remember, you are not their friend. You are their parent.
  2. Help your child develop a conscience. Openly admitting, and apologizing for mistakes made will show your child that you are human, that they are not to blame, and that there is a right way to handle difficult situations.
  3. Develop Empathy. Telling your child that they need to say “sorry” if they hurt someone is not effective. Sorry can be meaningless if the child doesn’t understand it. At these times, ask the child to describe how he/she would feel from being hit. This will help the child to feel compassion and sympathy while understanding what it really means to hurt someone.
  4. Give Attention. Research has found that in jails, solitary confinement is the worst option for an adolescent or adult with bad behavior. The same goes for isolation. Kids need interaction from adults and peers, not entertainment.
  5. Build Self-Esteem. Help your child find something they are good at, and praise them for those achievements. Acknowledging your child for honest accomplishments helps them know their value.
  6. Avoid Harsh Punishments. When parents are violent, abusive, or insensitive to their child, the child learns from that. Parents lead by example, period.
  7. Draw The Line. Understand the Threshold Between Roughhousing and Violence.
  8. Learn Calming Techniques. It is important to demonstrate your own resilience, problem solving, and coping strategies in front of your children. This does not mean acting tough or hiding your feelings. It means demonstrating healthy techniques for handling conflict and emotion in your own life and encouraging them to do the same.

American Association of School Psychologists: