Aggression is part of growing up and should not always be considered negative, says the Professional Association of Paediatricians in Munich.
Temper tantrums help children learn self-determination and test their boundaries.
“It’s important for children to learn how to manage this without hurting anyone or damaging property,” says Thomas Fendel, a paediatrician.
At first, children can only express their rage physically, by grabbing a toy from another child, for example, “It’s only when they turn three years that they realize there are other options such as verbal attacks,” says Fendel.
Parents should tolerate a certain degree of anger. They can show understanding when a child is angry about losing a toy. But they should help the child develop strategies for conflict management.
In extreme circumstances when a child feels neglected, aggression can be an expression of the child’s feeling of helplessness, according to the association.
Yet, it could also be an indicator of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
If months go by and a child regularly resorts to physical or verbal attacks, parents should take the child to a doctor.
“You have to find out whether a therapeutic treatment is recommendable,” says Fendel. – dpa
(theSun, Tuesday, October 9, 2007)