Can you recall a time when you saw your own child being hurt by another kid? I remember my son was only 2 years old when I first witnessed how another kid, who was a few years older than him, pushed him, causing him to fall down really hard. Fortunately, it was nothing serious, but as a mother, I couldn’t help but feel agitated. I wanted to personally discipline the kid who hurt my son, but of course I couldn’t do that. Naturally, my next reaction was to blame the parents and think, “what do they teach their child?” Seeing our children get hurt, pushed, hit, pinched, bitten, punched, grabbed by other kids is perhaps every parents’ worst nightmare. But what if it’s our own child who is displaying this kind of aggressive behavior?
“If I see my kid hurting others, I would feel like I failed as a mother, for I wasn’t able to teach him the right behavior,” Menchie Orona, a 38-year-old mother of three, says.
It is often difficult for us parents to accept and understand the idea that our sweet, adorable child is capable of hurting other kids. But whether we like it or not, this is a reality which we parents have to learn to deal with. Therefore, it is important for us to have a better understanding of the possible influences which could trigger our children to hurt others.
“It is quite typical for young children to use physical means to express themselves.” says Elizabeth King-Santos, a Professor on Early Childhood Education and Special Education in Kalayaan and Roosevelt Colleges. Often, it is never a child’s intention to hurt others.
King-Santos also cites factors which may affect children to resort to such hurtful behavior. These may be child-related, family and environment-related or society and culture-related factors.
“The main reason why young children use physical means to express themselves is because of their limited use of verbal skills, their lack of developed social skills and self-control”.