Sometimes when children in your daycare hit or bite or behave aggressively, it can be frustrating, and if you don’t know how to handle these types of situations it can definitely upset and disrupt your daycare business.
So to help you get through issues with hitting and aggression, we asked the experts from Smart Love Family Services, a Chicago-based non-profit which offers counseling, parent coaching, and parent education classes in addition to mom & tot classes, new mom groups and preschool offerings at The Natalie G. Heineman Smart Love Preschool. Smart Love Family Services is based on Smart Love, a uniquely effective parenting and child development philosophy that redefines for parents, teachers and caretakers, what it means to be a better parent and guide for the child.
OwnADaycare: Why does aggression such as hitting and biting occur?
Smart Love Family Services: A child who hits or bites is emotionally overwhelmed and has learned to communicate his/her upset feelings in this way. They feel they will not be heard otherwise. Children who lash out have developed needs for unhappiness due to being responded to in harsh disciplinary ways such as time-outs, consequences and getting angry at the child.
OwnADaycare: What kind of consequences can a child care provider implement when a young child has acted aggressively?
Smart Love Family Services: If at all possible try to understand why these aggressive acts are occurring. Once the child acts out his/her aggressive feelings we want to be sure that the child who is acted upon is cared for and the aggressor is stopped immediately in a firm, calm and positive way. The caregiver regulates the child’s harmful behavior without adding any unnecessary unpleasantness or getting angry with the child. The caregiver stops the aggressive behavior in a firm but positive way and let the child know that he or she can not hurt others, then acknowledges the child’s upset feelings and helps the child feel better and become engaged in more constructive activity. Caregiver models calm, stays positive and available to the child, so that overtime, the child will turn to the comfort of the caregiver when child is frustrated, angry or upset. This approach, which we call loving regulation, helps the child develop self-regulation over time. If necessary remove the child from the situation and spend time with the child. We do not ever recommend consequences be meted out in order to control children’s behavior.
OwnADaycare: How should child care providers react, respond to aggressive behavior?
Smart Love Family Services: Regulate the behavior without adding any unpleasant consequences
OwnADaycare: What resources would you recommend for daycare providers who are experiencing problems with hitting and aggression among the children in their daycare?
Smart Love Family Services: We recommend the following books by Drs. Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D. and William J. Pieper, M.D. who originated the Smart Love approach:
Smart Love: The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Regulating and Enjoying your Child
Smart Love Solutions in Early Childhood: A Handbook for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers
Addicted to Unhappiness: Free Yourself from Moods and Behaviors that Undermine Relationships, Work and the Life you Want.
Image Source: Herdaily.com
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