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ERIC Number: ED373926
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Dec
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Positive Aspects of Aggressive Behavior in Young Children.
Periolat, Janet; Nager, Nancy
Not all fighting or aggression in young children is bad, and some kinds of teacher intervention may be beneficial. Play-fighting refers primarily to rough and tumble play and chasing, and several studies have shown that play and serious fighting can be clearly distinguished in young children. Numerous authors have pointed out the value and positive aspects of aggression. Aggressive behavior is often the most immediate way for a child to communicate his or her desires and needs, and teachers need to try to understand what children are communicating rather than judge their behavior. Play-fighting is a very common occurrence among boys, and seems to occur less with girls. Girls who display aggressive behavior have generally been socialized like boys. Boys often use aggressive behavior and play-fighting to make friends, exhibit frustration due to failure at making friends, and to become more assertive and overcome their fear of aggressive boys. It is crucial for adults and teachers to encourage children to respond to aggression by asserting their feelings with statements such as "Stop it" or "I don't like that," rather than by simply hitting back or running to the teacher. A child's self-esteem can build when encouraged to take responsibility for his or her own feelings. Teachers can play a positive role in assisting children to express and channel their aggressive behavior. (AS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Play Fighting