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How to help your child handle aggression from a young age
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When your toddler gets aggressive, its easy to worry, according to the Urban Child Institute. But even very challenging kids can learn to simmer down if we teach them constructive ways to cope, and steer them away from situations that overtax their self-control. - photo by Herb Scribner
On Thursday evening, a fight broke out right before halftime at Mississippi Delta Community Colleges football game against East Mississippi Community College, according to WJTV. EMCC led the game, 48-0, before it was cancelled because of the fight, WJTV reported.

Both schools' benches cleared and engaged in the brawl. Local authorities rushed to the scene to break up the fighting athletes, sending them back to their respective locker rooms, WJTV reported.

We told our guys how this game would be and how they would play, EMCC head coach Buddy Stephens told reporters after the brawl. If they dont listen, I simply cannot help them. I put this on us for our lack of discipline, the referees for not controlling the game and (Delta) for (its) lack of discipline.

This is far from the first time student-athletes have rushed off their benches to brawl against their opponents. Back in December 2014, a player from a Denver area girls basketball team got into a fight with an opponent that inspired a brawl between both teams, The IJ Review reported.

Teammates of Arvada High school rushed the court to keep the sophomore from brawling, but it inspired even more of a conflict between the teams resulting in the Arvada coach throwing a player to the ground, IJ Review reported.

Everybody just ran to the fight. My intentions were to go and break up the fight and grab my girl off of their girl, that player, Areeon Frilot, told The Denver Channel. I got to about the three-point line and thats when I felt someone grab my hair from the back and throw me. My first reaction was that I just got thrown by another girl from the team.

Similarly, teams in Pennsylvania and Ohio were involved in schools fights. In these scenarios, the students were handed harsh punishments, like being asked to leave campus or even being charged with disorderly conduct something that the NCAA bans from its sports games.

Though baseball, basketball, football and soccer all have different punishments and rules about fighting, taking physical action against a teammate is banned by college sports. (Side note: The sport of hockey allows in-game fights, so the rules are a bit different). In many cases, in-game brawls can lead to suspension from school and sports.

Theres been some debate about how parents should talk to their children about fighting and exhibiting aggressive behavior. The Washington Posts Joel Stein raised the question about whether or not fathers should teach their sons how to fight. Other parents have also asked whether or not they should teach their child how to fight and defend themselves, especially when confronted by bullies.

But the right solution for parents may be to teach their child how to handle aggression from a young age, since research shows aggressive adults and adolescents get those behaviors from their early childhood.

For example, parents who partake in "negative parenting" the act of expressing negative emotions towards infants, or even handle their child roughly also make their children more likely to have aggressive personalities, according to new research, Live Science reported.

In most cases, that aggressive behavior will stop by age 5. But if it doesnt, it will remain with the child for life, LiveScience reported.

"Conduct problems around age 5 are probably one of the strongest predictors of anything that you care to predict for years to come, including depression, substance use, academic problems and peer rejection," the studys researcher Michael Lobber of New York University told LiveScience. "They predict even aggression against one's romantic partner later in life."

Similarly, children who are neglected by their parents before their second birthday are more likely to show aggression between 4 and 8 years old, which will only increase over time, according to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

And children who are exposed to too much TV are also at risk for having aggressive behavior in life, PsychCentral reported.

Early childhood aggression can be problematic for parents, teachers and childhood peers and sometimes is predictive of more serious behavior problems to come, such as juvenile delinquency, adulthood violence and criminal behavior, the report said, according to PsychCentral.

But parents can help cut down on their childs aggression.

If your child is aggressive and acting out, its not your fault, but you do need to teach him how to do things differently, according to Empowering Parents, a parenting information website.

Parents will want to offer their child pep talks, in which children learn lessons about playing nicely and acting kind to others, Empowering Parents reported. Parents may also want to give their children time outs so that they can learn there are consequences to aggressive actions.

Parents should also keep an eye on what makes their children aggressive, Good Therapy reported. Stressors are different for every child, so its important for parents to identify whats making their child aggressive so they can help him or her avoid it in the future.

When your toddler gets aggressive, its easy to worry, according to the Urban Child Institute. But even very challenging kids can learn to simmer down if we teach them constructive ways to cope, and steer them away from situations that overtax their self-control.
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