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How can I help my child become more aggressive?

Thursday, 10 February 2005
Answered by: Dr. Renu Kishore
Reader, Department of Psychology,
Delhi University,
New Delhi
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Q. My son is 9 years old and he doesn't enjoy contact sports. He wants to play basketball but during practice and games he doesn't get aggressive enough to go after the ball and he keeps his distance from the action. He just watches the game. He doesn't like to touch the football, instead runs away from the ball when it is hit to him because he is afraid of the ball. He is tall for his age and I notice that his shoe size is bigger than most of his friends. He is the slowest runner in his class. He gives up very easily and cries for everything. He is bright and loves video games and computers, but I limit it because I know he needs to exercise too. How can I help him become more aggressive and stop crying?

A.  It is important to realize that children have different interests and temperaments. As a parent you should not force your child into any activity. Simply allow him an opportunity to explore if it interests him and then decide if he wants to continue with it. If he feels frustrated he would not benefit and may develop a life-long aversion or fear for such situations. Your son seems to be shy and emotionally dependent. Try to encourage independent behaviours and ignore his crying. Let him take decisions and take responsibility for them. Emotional Intelligence is as important as academic intelligence. You as a parent can help him by being supportive, firm and encouraging.

A.  It is important to realize that children have different interests and temperaments. As a parent you should not force your child into any activity. Simply allow him an opportunity to explore if it interests him and then decide if he wants to continue with it. If he feels frustrated he would not benefit and may develop a life-long aversion or fear for such situations. Your son seems to be shy and emotionally dependent. Try to encourage independent behaviours and ignore his crying. Let him take decisions and take responsibility for them. Emotional Intelligence is as important as academic intelligence. You as a parent can help him by being supportive, firm and encouraging.

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