Are our toddlers becoming violent?

Spoiled toddlers are using violence to get their own way, claims child psychologist

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Nursery school children are more likely to use violence to get their own way than previous generations, a child psychologist has claimed. Blaming the decline of respect for authority, experts have warned that children are turning to violence at a young age to get what they want, both at nursery and at home.

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“Children are swearing and throwing chairs at their teachers at younger and younger ages. It isn’t surprising this is happening in a domestic setting too,” explained Dr Aric Sigman, from the Royal Society of Medicine.

Dr Aric found a worrying trend towards violence by children and toddlers, while researching his book, The Spoilt Generation. In one study, he discovered that the number of reception age children excluded from school in the UK was up by 19% from two years ago. The largest reason children were excluded was for attacking an adult.

“It’s the extreme end of the spoilt generation where they actually lash out at parents, almost exclusively their mothers,” Dr Aric continued. “Parent abuse and parent battery appear to be on the rise and what seems to underlie this is to do with parenting, the lack of boundaries and the reversal of authority.”

Experts agree that setting boundaries and keeping discipline can be difficult for parents trying to encourage their children to be independent and confident, but recommend clarity. “It’s got to the point where people aren’t correcting their children any more,” explained Dr William Shanahan. “Parents should be saying in advance what they rules will be.”

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