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1. Compare and contrast challenging behaviors and aggressive behaviors using examples to illustrate your thinking:

Challenging behaviors are neither diagnostic nor special education condition. Such behaviors are of high intensity, frequency and duration that the bodily safety of the individual or others is probable to be placed in gravely limit or holdup access to, and use of ordinary amenities (Emerson et. al. 1987). Challenging behaviors take various forms, some of them minimal intensity, some maximum intensity. These behaviors challenge the right of people and children to a safe and orderly environment. Has a period, frequency, force or persistence that is further than the normal range of what the society tolerate. They are also less probable to be responsive to the normal range of preventions used by the concerned people for misbehavior. Aggressive behaviors are characterized by overt or covert hostility, disobedience, bodily and verbal aggressiveness, quarrelsomeness, bitterness and destructiveness. Often such children are hyperactive and inattentive. A minority of them may engage in fire-setting, destruction and even homicidal acts. Aggressive children often resort to biting and bullying as a way of self-defense.

Challenging and aggressive behaviors, whether it occurs in children or adults, can occur from various causal aspects that include, but not restricted to: socio-economic disadvantage, conduct disorder, attention seeking, communication difficulties, dysfunctional family systems and abuse, trauma, chaos.

Adults tend to label such behaviors by spanking and yelling at aggressive or challenging children. Some may also criticize, embarrass and humiliate them in the presence of others as if they were not human beings. This serves to escalate the children behaviors then and later on in their adult lives. Children also tend to emulate the adult’s behaviors. This is when the adult are involved in name calling and racial slurs (Mitchell, 1982).  

2. Explain how and where young children receive aggressive scripts for behavior and describe the characteristics of effective strategies that change or neutralize these scripts:

Young children often get aggressive scripts when they live in environments that financially or socially disadvantaged. Living in an unsecure neighborhood, for example when they live with gangs, drug vendors and other criminal associates, would result in children becoming challenging and aggressive. Children also become aggressive and challenging, when they attend a poorly managed or unsafe school. Teens that have aggressive friends become aggressive. Children exposed to a lot of television at a tender age tend to be challenging and aggressive. Most research experts agree that there is a direct, casual link between exposure to aggression in the media and later violent behavior.

Findings shows that those who are exposed to television for less than an hour a day, 5.7 percent have been involved in a violent act that led to a grave injury (Denham, & Burton, 1996). Violent video games are major factors to contribute to violent behaviors in young children. This inhibits aggressive thoughts, manners and behaviors. Studies reveal that children who are habitually hyperactive become more so when exposed constantly to violent games. Others say that even with minimal exposure can briefly augment aggressive behavior in all kinds of parties. Yelling at children, subject them to emotional mistreatment that researchers say has the potential of destructive or physical abuse. If children are overused, they become potentially destructive.

Praising a child plays a crucial role in these types of parent-child relationship. This helps minimize the aggression in children. Cooperative co-parenting also between mothers and fathers may play a crucial role to assure children who are at risk of kind of behavior problems. Supporting your spouse in front of a child shows that you are a combined front. This can help prevent some aggressive and challenging behaviors in children who are at risk (Marion, 2006, p. 266-287).

3. Difference between anger and aggression

Anger is a feeling that children experience, and aggression is an outcome of it. Anger is a common emotion which is neither good nor bad, and does not call for any judgment to be attached to it. Some individuals believe that a problem arises if an individual is angry, which is not the case. Aggression means how far a person can go to achieve his or her goals. Reactive aggression can be of great concern to parents. This is when children react aggressive to a certain situation, either to defend himself or herself. In this process he/she may end up other children.  

Verbal aggression by fellow children or adults, for instance belittling, ridiculing, or hurting a child, can cause serious set-backs to the child’s self-esteem. Children with low self-esteem may not perform well in school and maybe at risk of resort to aggressive behaviors. Physical aggression, for instance biting, scratching, or kicking, may cause serious bodily injuries.

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