Just when it seems that you have got over one stage, along comes another one to challenge you! Now you have a 6-year-old who is testing you. What causes a 6 years year old to suddenly lash out and hit other kids, or even their parents? How do you address aggressive behavior in 6-year-old kids? Let’s take a look.
What you will learn in this post:
- Why your 6-year-old is showing aggressive behavior
- 5 Ways to deal with aggressive behavior in a 6-year-old child
5 Reasons Why Your 6 Year Old Is Showing Aggression
As kids progress through their early life, they are faced with certain challenges. One challenge, in particular, is to react to difficult situations correctly.
When kids get angry, they are not reacting to a particular challenge in life the correct way.
2 things cause this:
- A trigger – what caused the feelings that started the angry response?
- The anger – is not the correct response
Struggle At School
It is widespread for a 6-year-old to be frustrated with their work at school.
Schooling gets more and more difficult as your child moves through the years, as it should. Sometimes, the gear shift change between years can cause some frustration.
If you notice aggressive behavior in your 6 year old before and after school only, this could be the reason.
Violent TV/Video Games
Most 6-year-old children have started to play computer games and have become more involved in choosing what they want to watch on TV.
Both of these have the potential to be teaching your child the wrong way to act in life.
For every app or TV controller they have access to, you should be looking for the parental control options and adopting them.
Also – it is easy to give in and let your child play games that have been designed for older kids, but the repercussions could be an angry 6 year old!
Your 6-year-old spends a lot of time at school – do you know who they hang out with? Are they also 6 years old’s who are displaying aggressive behavior?
From this point in life, you almost need to vet your child’s friends to ensure they are not going to be teaching each other bad habits.
Reacting to situations with anger is learned behavior. Your 6-year-old could be learning this at school or home.
6 years old’s want to be more grown-up, but their body is still growing, and sometimes, it doesn’t give them what they need. The same for their brain too.
Frustration can kick in if your child is trying to achieve something they are not ready for yet. This is especially true if your child has older siblings… they want to do what their older brothers or sisters are doing, but they are not ready yet!
Unfortunately, you cannot rule out behavioral disorders just by searching on the internet!
If you think your 6 year is old displaying aggressive behavior due to a disorder, then you will need to seek professional medical help as soon as possible.
5 Ways To Deal With Aggressive Behavior In 6-Year-Old Child
The first thing you both need to do is remain calm. Easier said than done!
- You – remain calm during the aggressive episode
- Your child – needs to learn to calm down quickly
Obviously, this is going to be something that takes a long time to learn, especially for your child. At the moment, this is the way they deal with whatever emotion they are feeling. It is your job to teach them other ways to express whatever they are feeling.
When your child is 6 years old, it is perfect for continuing to teach them about responsibility.
Please discuss with your child that they are responsible for certain things in life, and they are responsible for the way they react in certain situations.
Make them responsible for developing another way to react, removing the aggression. What other reactions are better than aggression?
Although you are teaching your child to be more responsible, it is ultimately your responsibility, but they don’t need to know that!
Reward Good Behavior
Those who have read a few posts on this blog about behavior in kids and toddlers know that I am a huge fan of rewarding good behavior. It is the most effective way I have found to keep my son in check!
Every time your 6-year-old hits a trigger but reacts in a non-aggressive way, it should be rewarded. Build the foundations that this is the correct way of reacting to whichever situation they faced.
Discuss Cause And Effect
Cause and effect is a huge part of any child’s development. If they do not know the effect of their aggressive behavior, why would they change the cause?
A powerful method to teach your child cause and effect is by asking your child to explain their actions.
Using this method will help your child to think out loud. By describing what happened, they will be able to identify better ways to deal with it. During the explanation, it is important that you also ask, ‘what happened when you reacted this way?’
There are professional medical folks who specialize in aggressive behavior in 6-year-old kids. If you think your child has reached this stage, you should absolutely reach out to someone who will help.
It is not up to you to diagnose your child, and please do not use the internet to do it for you! A face-to-face consultation is the only way forward.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my 6 year old so angry and aggressive?
If your 6 year old is behaving this way, then it could be for a number of different reasons. They may feel frustrated at not being able to complete tasks they see others doing, they could be struggling with work at school, or it could be due to a behavioral issue. If you think this is the case, then please seek medical assistance.
How do you discipline a child with anger issues?
The same way you discipline any child, by rewarding good behavior. It is important for your child to learn the best way of dealing with emotions, and anger is not one of them.
How do you reward a 6 year old?
The reward does not always have to be financial, like money, or a new toy/gadget. Kids love collecting things like stars, or happy faces. They want a visual representation of their good behavior. My son loves a rewards chart. Each day, he checks it to see how many stars he got the day before! It works like a charm!
Controlling aggressive behavior in 6-year-old kids is a challenge! Your first job is to find out what is causing it, and unfortunately, there are tons of reasons!
I mentioned above in this post, but I want to re-affirm that aggressive behavior is learned behavior. Control your own temperament and be a role model. You will find your 6-year-old copying your behavior.
Whenever you get angry, it is worth explaining to your child why you are angry and then explain how you are reacting to it. Your 6-year-old will quickly learn to fall in line!