Coaching big sibs to handle the younger child's aggression

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Coaching big sibs to handle the younger child's aggression

When a younger child is displaying aggressive behavior, it can be challenging for older siblings to know how to handle the situation. 

Here are some strategies that may help older siblings handle their younger sibling's aggression:

  1. Teach them to set boundaries: Older siblings should be taught how to set boundaries and assert themselves when their younger sibling is being aggressive. For example, they can say "I don't like it when you hit me" or "I need you to stop that now."

  2. Encourage empathy: Help older siblings understand their younger sibling's perspective and feelings, and teach them to respond with empathy. For example, "I know you're upset but hitting is not okay."

  3. Role-play: Use role-playing to help older siblings practice appropriate responses to their younger sibling's aggressive behavior.

  4. Teach them to use "I" statements: Encourage older siblings to use "I" statements when communicating with their younger sibling. For example, "I feel upset when you hit me" instead of "You're always hitting me."

  5. Positive reinforcement: Praise and reward older siblings when they handle their younger sibling's aggressive behavior in a calm and appropriate manner.

  6. Get professional help if necessary: If the problem persists, seeking professional help may be beneficial. A child therapist or counselor can help both siblings develop healthy coping mechanisms and understand the reasons behind the aggressive behavior.

  7. Encourage older siblings to take care of themselves: It's important to teach older siblings how to take care of themselves emotionally and physically, and to not take responsibility for the younger sibling's behavior.

It's important to remember that children learn by example, so it's essential for parents and caregivers to model appropriate behavior and to intervene when necessary. 

Additionally, it's important to address the younger child's aggressive behavior and work on changing it as well.

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