Go back in time to deal with aggressive behaviours

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Some children will demonstrate aggressive behaviours. These may be verbal or non‐ verbal.

In this situation there’s not much you can do to stop it other than letting it burn out.

It’s important to respond quickly to ensure the safety of the child, other children, and in a service staff and visitors. Remove all children away from the aggressor if you can. When responding to aggressive behaviours, we must aim to:

  • Comfort the victim of the aggressive behaviour
  • COMFORT THE CHILD WHO HAS BEEN AGGRESSIVE

It may take up to 20 minutes for the child to be able to reason with you and talk after the outburst. The neocortex in the brain has shut down and raw emotions are controlling the behaviour at this point in time. Be patient and go in with a big bundle of love, care and emotional support.

Sometimes we jump in and accuse the child. A better way to deal with these situations is to reverse time. This will be different depending on the child’s ability to communicate.

NON VERBAL CHILD OR MINIMAL LANGUAGE

Step 1 Ensure the victim is okay, supported by another educator and doesn’t require medical attention.

Step 2 Supervise the aggressive child as they are calming down, letting the child know you are available for a hug/ hand rub/ calming song when they are ready. Having a quiet time visual board works well. If the child continues to meltdown supervise and give them space.

Step 3 Once the child calms down give eye contact, offer the child one of their choices from quiet time visuals board.

Step 3 Identify if possible what triggered the child.

Step 4 Go back in time and role play with the child another way of dealing with the situation by reinforcing the visuals.

Step 5 Slowly introduce the child back to the group and be ready to identify the time when the child is triggered so you can model the desired behaviour.

HIGH FUNCTIONING VERBAL CHILD

Step 1 Ensure the victim is okay, supported by another educator and doesn’t require medical attention.

Step 2 Supervise the aggressive child as they are calming down, letting the child know you are available for a hug/ hand rub/ calming song when they are ready. If the child continues to meltdown supervise and give them space.

Step 3 Once the child calms down give eye contact, go over to the child calmly and say “(Child’s name)  can you tell me what happened/ made you upset?”

Step 4 Go back in time and role play with the child another way of dealing with the situation by reinforcing desired language or choice of spaces.

Step 5 Slowly introduce the child back to the group and be ready to identify the time when the child is triggered so you can model the desired behaviour.


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