Any preschool teachers out there.can you offer advice on helping 3-4 year olds with aggressive behavior?

Question:I have a couple of students who continue to grab and hit other students as well as 2 biting incidents

Answers:
My question is why are they being aggressive? My guess is it is related to a skill deficit or something they have difficulty with such as sharing materials, conflicts on the playground, limited language etc. There needs to be a two prong approach to aggressive behavior. 1 is to identify the skill that needs to be taught, sharing, turn taking, asking for help, getting a teacher for conflict and plan specific fun activities to teach the behavior and then set up opportunities during normal activities for them to use the new behavior and provide rewards, prizes, praise and general around reinforcement for using the new behaviors. 2 is create specific concrete consequences that you will use when the behavior reappears. Time out, losing privileges, a sad note or call to parents etc. and use these consequences consistently. The problem is when poor behavior arises we as teachers tend ot focus on the bad behavior and work on catching the students misbehaving. The focus of any educational program should be to catch the students being good more often than being bad. Research shows that we need to catch students 4-5x more often being good than bad and with challenging students that means a lot of attention, but often bad behavior is just that a cry for attention. Good Luck.
If I were you (assuming that you are the teacher), I would provide immediate and repeated punishment for aggressive behavior in order to encourage the retention of learning.

Preschool teachers teach the concept of sharing materials. It's when the children start to "act out" which is a PROBLEM! When they start to "act out", this is when the teacher has to punish them because the teacher has already taught this. The child is just being mean and needs to be punished.

If the children didn't learn the skills from the teacher, then I can understand that teachers need to find the good behaviors in them so they can LEARN!
1. Be completely consistent - the same behaviour always results in the same punishment.
2. Give lots of opportunities for energetic play - have new and exciting activities available.
3. If 2 children are playing agressively together, do not allow them to play in the same area - separate them.
4. Praise them every time you catch them behaving well (look regularly)
5. Praise other people who are behaving well nearby.
In some pre-schools those behaviors are grounds for getting those kids kicked out of the pre-school, especially, if this is a common occurance. If they cant get along, one or both have got to go. Do this before other parents decide to take their kids out, or worse, decide to complain or sue.
Seriously, the reputation of the pre-school is at stake. I mean word will go out that your pre-school has a bunch of kids that hurt other kids and nothing was really done about it. There are people that ask, "What do you know about 'ABC' pre-school?" They will not send their kids to a pre-scool with kids that bite or cause problems.
Whatever it is you do, do it quickly or else the problems will just worsen.
Redirection works the best. After admonishing them for hitting, get them interested in something else. Give more attention to the person being hit than the hitter. Make sure that their parents are aware of what is going on.
Is this behavior happening at specific times of the day? During specific activities? In a specific center? Without knowing more, it is hard to answer. If it is at a specific time of the day then maybe there is something that can be changed in the routine for that time. For instance, if it's always around 10:30, maybe you can take a quick reading/singing circle break to calm things down a bit. Doesn't have to be a whole clean up and everything, just everyone come over and lets read or sing (which ever they like more). If it's during a specific activity, then maybe that activity can be approached differently. If it's in a specific center, then maybe it can be re arranged to allow for more area per child, or less children in it at a time.

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