What is the role of older Siblings in containing the Aggression in Younger Siblings?
It is assumed that children follow the actions of the role models and if the parents show certain traits in the personality, children will learn to adopt them. This means that the same logic can be applied to older siblings as well. For example, if the older child shows patience when it comes to the power wheel, the younger one may also adopt that trait. This means that the aggression in the young child can be contained if the parent and older siblings play their role responsibly. Aggression in children can be triggered for various reasons. For instance, if children do not get their way, it may make them angry or if they are not able to comprehend something. This is not to say that the element of jealousy in terms of sharing the love of parents with the older sibling is not important, however, if the aggression is associated with one reason, it may be factually incorrect.
This implies that if you raise the older siblings well in terms of containing the anger and dealing with the younger siblings, the process of managing the aggression in children can be made easy. For instance, the older child will be expected to avoid any chance of triggering the anger in the younger siblings and if the younger child happens to lose temperament despite all the efforts, the older sibling will have to act in a mature way to tackle the younger sibling. Similarly, the lessons learned by the older siblings to contain the anger can be taught to the younger ones to help them with the issues of aggression.
Role Model: If the younger sibling has the habit of hitting the older siblings, the older one can ask the young one what is bothering him/her in order to sort out the underlying cause. Similarly, distracting the siblings in terms of engaging in some constructive activity is another way of managing the situation. Moreover, if you find the reason fro aggression, older siblings can help to get rid of it to make the younger one feel better.
Teaching: Children often like to get what they want and when adults or older siblings refuse to fulfill all the desires or wishes, children tend to become aggressive. This is why there is a need to teach children the less violent ways of expressing emotions or anger. For example, talking about the feeling without losing the control is one option. Similarly, if the child is interested in playing games, it will help to regulate the behavior to a large extent.
Acknowledge the Problem: If you can empathize with the child in terms of understanding the problems and letting the child know that you acknowledge the problems, it can help the child feel as someone who is being understood. Moreover, if you take action to make the child feel less angry, the gesture will be taken well by the child and chances are that he/she will try to work on the habit of losing temperament.
Support: Though it may not be easy for the older sibling to say the right words to the younger siblings in terms of showing support, however, if you teach them the right techniques, the problem can be curbed. Likewise, the older sibling can lay stress on not using force or violence to get one’s way. In addition, the older sibling can hear the side of the younger sibling to understand the causes of tension.
Acting out Possibilities: The use of humor is another best technique to change the subject or to decrease the tension. For example, if the younger child is angry with you, you can lighten up the situation by cracking a joke or by making the younger sibling laugh before he/she loses the temperament. Similarly, if you can respond in a funny way, the aggression of the child will not be escalated.
Limits: Older siblings can also spoil the younger siblings and this is why they tend to misbehave more than they should. The reason has to do with taking advantage of the love and care shown by the older sibling. This means that older siblings should learn to set boundaries especially if the younger sibling seems to take things for granted or if the problem of aggressions persists in the child.
Protection: Of course, the younger siblings will need to be supervised by the parents or older siblings, however, if you tend to become overprotective, the problem may aggravate. This means that older sibling will have to be careful in terms of being protective and providing the child with the required space to breathe. For instance, if you tell younger sibling to set up the plates on the dining table, you will be expected to watch him/her. However, if you do not let the child complete the tasks in their way, it may make the child angry. Hence, it is important to be protective about younger siblings but going overboard with it not recommended either.
Love: Even though being strict with the child is important, but it does not mean that the value of showing love and support can be ignored. It means if you can tell the child that you understand the problem he/she is struggling with and that they can count on you, it could provide them with the zeal to contain the anger. Moreover, actions and your gesture are significant in terms of showing your love for the siblings. For instance, you can offer help with the homework or guide them in completing various tasks. Hence, if you can find out the triggers of anger and aggression and you give love to the child, it could provide a strong support system to the child. This is not to say that parents are not important in making a change or helping the child to work on the aggression, however, if older siblings lend a hand, it could prove to more effective.
Aggression in children can be a product of multiple reasons; however, if the child has an older sibling to get through it with the support, the problems of aggression can be controlled to a large extent.