How To Handle Aggressive Child Behavior

How To Handle Aggressive Child Behavior
Image source - CNN

Every human being has anger inside them. It is one among the basic feelings. Although, adults may deal with it in their way but children usually end up in violent behavior as they fail to curb it.

We often see aggressiveness during toddler and preschool period. It is not just violent behavior but varies to even verbal aggression.

Let us look at ways how to deal with such behavior and how to control it.


  • Recognizing the exact reason of the situation
Image source – CDC

There are different situations where a child might lose his/her control and act or behave in a certain way. It might vary from hitting, kicking, biting or may be verbal like hateful words or rude behavior.

You must always look into the root of it. Once you recognize that you will know the reason that led to that certain behavior.

In some situations, the aggression in the child is the result of being denied of something. For example, if they ask for something and you deny it or they don’t get what they asked for. This should be treated by explaining the limits to your child. You can sit and explain how if they are being denied of something, it is for the good of them. Sometimes a child may even feel helpless in situations where they cannot express what they are feeling. In such situations you must help them navigate their way through what they feel and why they feel so. Communication is the key.


  • Make them accept their feelings


Mostly aggression occurs after one is upset about something.

It is said quite often about anger that “anger is a second emotion”. It means that anger never appears upfront until it is driven by a certain emotion. It is when you are originally hurt or upset that it may lead to aggressive behavior because one fails to express the reason for being hurt or upset.

When your child seems hurt or upset about something, you must go and make them accept it first. Tell them that they look upset and ask them the reason very politely. This may make them accept their feelings and it will not go to the extent of being angry.


  • Set rules and limits in a calm voice
Image source – Happy families

A parent is also a human but when it comes to your child you must know that this person will develop into an adult the way you shape them now. It is always advisable and most emphasized point that a parent has to be very calm and patient when dealing with their children.

When your child behaves aggressively, for example, if they hit or kick or shout, be very patient and explain to them in a polite manner that such behavior is not acceptable and they have to apologize.


  • Give them appropriate words
Image source – Zero to three

Your child needs to learn how to apologize after they accept their feelings. Ask them to make amends with the victim of their aggression. Instead of forcing them to apologize you must teach them to how they have to make things right after they have done something wrong. Teach them how to use the word “I” word and make statements about their feelings.

For example, “I was upset that you didn’t give me more chocolate.” Or “I was upset when you took my toy away” etc.

They must tell this to the victim of their aggression (whoever it might be). If your child is not grown up to make statements yet then you can take them to the person they have hurt and apologize in front of your child. This will automatically make your child aware of their actions.


  • Practice patience and firmness
Image source – Words on wheels

It is easy said than done but for a parent it is highly important to be patient with their child. A child will always imitate the parent. If you respond with anger, they will repeat the same.

It is advised to every parent that they must keep cool while handling their kids. Be emphatic when you say “no” for their behavior. Make sure it is in a calm voice. You can explain to your child the consequences of their behavior but you have to put up a very neutral tone while doing so.

Be physically convincing. You can hold their shoulders in a soft way while you politely explain them that they are wrong. You can hug them and ask them to calm down. It will help the child to calm down easily.


Some other general tips are:

  • Make a calm atmosphere.
  • Avoid violent TV shows.
  • Indulge your child in more physical activities outside.
  • Teach them about nature.
  • Make them listen to good music.


Your home is the first classroom for your child to learn manners and good behavior. It is your duty to be the best version of yourself in front of your child. It is not easy to hold one’s own frustration when your child throws a tantrum but it is for the better of your child in the long run.


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