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Responding to Aggressive and Violent Behavior

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Responding to Aggressive and Violent Behavior One of the most sobering questions that we are asked to answer is "What do I do when my child is aggressive? What do I do when my child is physically violent?" This is a really challenging issue for families who have children who are significantly disordered because of their histories. I will say we use levels of response and there are 4. We typically don't have to use more than the first 3 unless a child has been exposed to substance and/or very harsh circumstances. If a child's brain is changed dramatically by abuse or by in-utero harm, they are far more likely to be aggressive and violent. One important thing to remember is you are going to catch and extinguish most forest fires when there's sparks to be successful. So being pro-active rather than waiting for an escalation. I can say to the child early on, "Oh, I'm listening buddy. Try it again." I have to be aware that as my child escalates and the risk is greater and and greater that I'm going to have to use a different tone, I'm going to have to use less touch because once they become accelerated and the adrenaline starts pumping, the senses become acute. So if I touch them, they are likely to harm me. Dealing with aggression and violence, verbal aggression and physical violence is one of the most sobering responsibilities that we have. There are a number of types of training. If you are a parent who is fostering, you'll need to find out what your agency and your state teach and be trained in that. If you are a parent who is adopting or has adopted, then you might consider CPI training (Crisis Prevention Intervention), Satori training. In both of these cases, they will show you how to de-escalate behaviors and then will show you safe ways to manage and contain violence and aggression. The most important thing once we have passed the aggression or the violence is to reconnect. I am never done with a child who has acted out in anyway until I've got that child back on solid footing. So once I have seen a child through an episode of some kind, I'm going to ask that child to talk to me and I'm going to say, "Tell me what you need." Now I'm not going to start out with, "What did you do wrong?" because at that point, I'm just working to reconnect with that child. I'll say, "Tell my buddy, what do you need? Tell me what you need." And very often, I'll have a child who just had a violent episode, physically aggressive, acting out episode for 45 minutes, say, "I need something to eat." And I will meet that need with joy and swiftness. As the child talks with me, I'll say, Tell me what happened buddy." And ultimately I'll want to say, "If you'll use words and tell me what you need, if it's in my power, I'll move heaven and earth to meet that need. But when you hit me, I just don't understand what you are asking for, so if you can tell me with words, I'll do everything in my power to meet your need." Dealing with aggression and violence for a child from a really hard place usually will extinguish over a period of weeks or maybe a a few months as a child learns that they have voice with you, that they are safe with you. But if you have a child that is at risk for this acting out behavior, then you'll need to receive further training that's specialized in how to manage and contain aggression and violence.

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Duration: 4 minutes and 17 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Posted by: jenfridley on Mar 8, 2018

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