In Psychology, it is a known fact of the existence of aggressive behavior in children in the early childhood. As Muslim parents we know that children are a form of test from Allah, and it is important to know on how to deal with children in order to minimize the aggression and hopefully no more cases of children being abused and beaten, mentally and physically, sometimes to the extend of critically and fatally injuring them in Malaysia.
I am sharing an assignment that I have submitted for my Child Psychology module in pursuance of my Bachelors Degree. Note: The view and opinion stated herewith is from the Islamic perspective.
Aggression in the early childhood is a common behavioral problem in children. Children has their own stage of growing up and parents should exercise patience, tolerant and investigate the reasons for the aggressive behavior and correct it.
It is important for the child to feel loved, stable and firm in family. It is recommended that they are to be fully supervised and not neglected. We as parents should be their role model for them, and to control our temper also.
Nowadays even the children are neglected in the care of childcare centers, babysitters or nurseries. They can absorb fast, any aggressive behavior from their daily environment.
The most common cases of aggressive behavior and aggression are:
Sibling rivalry when a new baby arrives, behaving aggressively towards the baby. In order to minimize the aggression towards a new baby, it is important to prepare the child for the arrival of the new sibling. When a new baby arrives it is important to let the older children to know the needs of the new baby, such as breastfeeding, to carry when cries, bathing, speaking to him, singing to him, but we must not neglect the older children and spend ample quality time when possible to compensate both siblings.
Aggressiveness when playing with friends - parents should explain the meaning of friendship, why a child must be polite, sharing, caring with a friend. The role of friends in his/her life. The parents should monitor during outdoor playing with the friends, and if feels anything that need to be corrected to explain to child. We should also explain to our toddler that hurting their friends is not acceptable, and when the situation calms down to offers his apologies to his/her friend.
Mirroring the aggressive behaviors of other children around them - it is common when the child is not fully monitored, supervised or spending more time in the care of babysitter or nursery centers. It is important to focus our attention toward children, to explain also why other children act aggressively, and is not a good example for them to copy.
Emulated behavior from TV and videos – there is a need to supervise the programs that the children are watching on TV or videos and to restrict any unsuitable programs. If possible to replace the activity with something more beneficial for the children such as: board games, sing a song, reading, crafting and many more.
Aggressive behavior when we refused to buy something from the supermarket - We should explain prior to the outing of our intention and the things we need and are required to purchase. Make a ‘to buy’ list from home, and even encourage the children to help us with the list. In case if really she/he see something is interested in to purchase then we should explain why we cannot to buy this time.
Aggression towards food limitation - In this case we must explain the health aspects and nutritional requirement for them. Though they tend to disagree, it is recommended to explain why we should have more vegetables, or fruits in our menus and to limit the food intake to avoid obesity.
Aggressive behavior when not following the daily routine - for example if 1 hour is allowed for his favorite cartoon or 1 hour allowed for outdoor activities. The child will insist that it is not enough and needed more. We should remind them of the daily routine (timetable) and try to introduce the next activity which follows or set in the schedule/daily routine.
Throwing things, books, toys - We should know the reasons why they start to throw things, maybe due to hunger, bored or sleepy. We must explain why it is not good to throw things, as they may be broken, encourage them to clean up the mess and listen to them what they have to say, what they need to sleep, to eat, to start a new activity and so on.
Aggressive to parents - in many cases if they are not receiving the necessary attention from parents, they can be aggressive towards parents. It is important for them to know the reasons why we are not giving much attention, of perhaps due to temporary busy schedule for work, guests or any other urgent matters. Give them space and time for them to realize the situation and that we cannot tolerate their aggressive behavior towards parents at all time.
In case if any of us suspect something is not in order with the aggressive behavioral in our children we must not be shy to ask for external help to improve the child behavioral.
We should monitor their aggressive behavior, to know how serious the situation, how long has it been going and how fast we can rectify and correct them from the aggressive behaviors.
Raising children is a big challenge for parents, and we should follow the example of the Prophet Muhammed (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam), regarding how to interact with our children, raising them, give them the time and importance, patience and not hurting their feelings, treatment of equality, express your love, greet them, listen to them what they have to say, that they should will be comfortable and safe in our care.
It is important as Muslim to keep our patience, and calmness when the aggressive behavior happens, to know how to control it, and to remember Prophet Muhammed (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) never used violence.
The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) always will explain to children in case if something was unclear for them, enjoyed discussing with children and showing mercy upon them.
Anas ibn Malik said: “I never saw anyone who was more compassionate towards children than Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam). His son Ibrahim was in the care of a wet nurse in the hills around Al-Madinah. He would go there, and we would go with him, and he would enter the house, pick up his son and kiss him, then come back”. (Muslim)
The Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was always pleased to see parents loving and caressing their children. The Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) once said, “When Allah blesses people with children, and they give their children love and meet their parental obligation, Allah keeps them safe from the fires of Hell.”
Cristina Emilia Stefan
Alor Setar, Kedah