Do you have a child enrolled in your program that exhibits aggressive behaviors such as biting, kicking, head-butting, throwing objects, hitting/slapping, taking toys/objects away from others? Wondering why this might be occurring?
First of all, you need to look at the function of the behavior. In other words, why might the child be doing these things?
Is it sensory, attention seeking, avoidance behaviors? Is this behavior appropriate for the developmental age of the child?
Knowing the function of the behavior will help figure out what strategies to use to help stop the behaviors from occurring.
For sensory behaviors, finding a more appropriate outlet for the child to get that sensory input may be all it takes to curb the behavior.
For a child who likes to bite, providing chew tubing, objects, or foods for the child to chew on can prevent a bite on another child.
For a child who kicks, slaps, hits, or head-butts, providing games and activities where these motor skills can be used appropriately (kicking a ball, slapping a ball, hitting with a hammer, “tackling” a punching bag, throwing beanbags or cotton balls) may help curb the aggressive behaviors against other children.
If the behavior is attention seeking, providing attention for a lack of those negative, aggressive behaviors can be used. Letting the child know your expectations, and providing praise for appropriate behaviors can make a world of difference.
If the child is trying to avoid an activity, try approaching the activity in a different way. For example, if a child throws the pencil every time you do a writing activity, give the child a choice of what to write with. Try writing in sand or paint instead of writing with pencil and paper. Giving a new spin on the same task may make it less aggravating for the child and may actually make the activity enjoyable.
Behavior Specialist-Region 10
Work Family Resource Center