One phone call parents hope they never receive is from a preschool to report that their child hurt another child in class. While your first instinct may be to discipline your child about their behavior, it’s important to stay calm and take the time to make it a teachable moment. St. Cecelia has some tips on how to talk to your child after they hurt someone else.
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Let your child explain their side of the story before you take any actions. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding or miscommunication. While hitting someone else is never okay, in some circumstances it may have been self-defense or an accident. If it’s evident that your child purposely hurt someone, this is where you need to pull them aside and speak with them more seriously.
There are times where children may not exactly understand that what they did was wrong. In their minds, they may have been justified in their behavior. As you pull them aside, calmly explain why it isn’t okay to hurt other people. Ask them how they would feel if someone did that to them. Once your child understands why their actions were unacceptable, ask them to apologize when they’re ready. You never want to force a child to apologize if they don’t mean it because it teaches them to lie about how they really feel.
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To make sure it doesn’t happen again, set a good example in your home life. When your child gets angry, show them how to handle their emotions in a healthy manner. Set an example and rather than resorting to violence, let them know there are other things they can do like journaling, sitting in a quiet space to calm down, or speaking with the person who upset them. Watch how they react to these alternative ways to handle anger from here on out.
For the next few months, keep a close eye on your child and watch how they handle their anger. Look for patterns in their behavior, as you may notice certain things that are making them turn to violence as an answer.
St. Cecelia, a Catholic private school in Clearwater, Florida, has a no-tolerance policy for violence. You can ensure your child is in a safe environment while they are learning at school. If you’re interested in enrolling your child in one of our various academic programs, call us at 727-461-1200 or visit our admissions page.
St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School (SCS) offers an academically challenging and globally minded interdisciplinary education to children in PreK-3 through 8th grade.
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