Help! My kid becomes aggressive whenever I say "No"!
Have you noticed your child being triggered when you say "No!"?!
In health psychology "No" is seen as a stressor. This is because the answer "No" is usually interrupting your child's expectation.
That interruption triggers the emotional mid-brain and may quickly evoke the fight/flight response in the brain stem. (Whaa?!)
This means that your child's screaming, falling to the floor or throwing something when they hear the word "No" is NOT their fault and does not reflect your parenting or their "morals".
Children under a certain age do not understand right and wrong the way they will later as adults. For the time being, right is what WORKS and wrong is what doesn't.
So, please do not worry yourself over your child being "a good kid" or "THAT kid". These behaviours come and go as the brain develops and learns new ways of coping with stressors.
There are super simple solutions to helping your kiddo cope with "No" without yelling, hitting or falling to the floor (phew!)
The first one is gently replacing "No" ANY chance you can that is realistic. This does not have to be all the time! Just whenever you remember is enough to begin helping their little brains cope.
Drop your "No, you may not have that treat!" and replace it with an energetic "First/Then". "Sure you may have a treat! First put your plate in the sink, then you may have a treat."
Keep it simple, short and pleasant. Practice this and watch your child's behaviour change in front of your eyes! I want to hear from you! Have you tried this? How did it go?
Your behaviour guide and coach, Stephanie Wicker-Campbell, has been supporting families just like yours for almost fifteen years! Teaching special needs children and studying early intensive behaviour intervention for over six years laid the foundation for her work with Simply Kids. Grounded in behaviour science, Stephanie's passion for counselling and developmental psychology play a big role in her coaching programs. Defining success by the progress of her clients, her goal is to no longer be needed. So, get in touch and work her out of a job!