4 Tips for Parenting Aggressive Kids

A guest post by Stella R.

One of the biggest challenges in life which parents face is dealing with their child’s difficult behavior. There will be many occasions when the child’s behavior makes your heart melt and go “aw”. However, there will also be many times when the little one will drive you mad.

Most importantly, if you have a young child on your hands, then he or she will probably lack the self-control to express anger and frustration, and thus lash out and create a scene.

Even though temper problems and outbursts are typical of young children, there are a few helpful tips which parents can consider to manage the tantrums from an aggressive child more efficiently.

1. Always tell your children what you expect of them

One of the biggest mistakes parents make is assuming the child knows exactly what is expected of him or her. Above all, remember to avoid falling into this trap! Children are not mind-readers and they frequently do not know how to behave in certain situations.

When it comes to optimal parenting, remember that the way you give out the instructions is just as important as what you are trying to get across. Firstly, be direct and concise. Never ask a question when you should make a clear statement! For example, you want to say “Please take out your books!” instead of “Will you stop playing games?”.

When it comes to older children, remember to stay clear when defining what you want them to do, but never appear to behave in a patronizing manner.

2. Do not give out negative attention

Every child values the attention of the main adult in their lives, and it is absolutely normal for a kid to need attention and approval. Nevertheless, seeking attention can become quite a hassle when it happens constantly. As a result, an attention-seeking child may rule over your life and misbehave whenever the chance is presented.

In fact, many children do not know how to grab their caretaker’s attention, so he or she results to misbehave. From a psychological standpoint, children value attention so much that they do not care if it is positive or negative, as long as there is a response! However, negative attention (for example spanking or shouting) may actually increase the bad behavior in the long run.

Parents who struggle with serious behavioral issues are always welcome to consult with professionals. In fact, behavior management strategies for problematic children are highly recommended in order to lessen potential anger outbursts in the future.

3. Set house rules and teach them to your children

If you struggle with setting proper house rules, then you are not alone. As a matter of fact, many struggle with putting together a list of the main household rules and letting their children be aware of them. Setting and keeping house rules are mandatory when you want to have order and discipline in your family.

Experts claim that one of the best ways to teach children what is expected of them is to make a written list (of course, if the child is old enough to read) and have it hung up somewhere in sight. Rules are a must not only to keep things in order but also to help the child feel safer and more secure at home.

Also, when the rules are crystal clear, there are fewer chances of getting into future power struggles. For example, tell your child that he or she should always pick up after himself/herself. Plus, make sure to explain what you meant by “pick up after yourself” and include simple examples. One way to do this is to have the child put his or her dishes in the dishwasher as soon as the food has been eaten. Or have your child pick up the toys after playtime has ended.

4. Teach your child that fighting is bad

Sometimes parents have to deal with children who are not only aggressive at home, but also in other environments. Even though it is not an easy task, parents need to react as soon as possible and deal with the issue. Whether it has to do with physical or verbal bullying, if the action is not dealt with, children may develop more serious issues in every aspect of life.

First of all, have a discussion with your child and understand the reasons for the inappropriate actions. Some problematic children bully for different reasons. For example, some may not be aware of the fact that children of different size, race and religion are no different from others.

Other bullies might enjoy picking on weaker pupils because they get the feeling of being powerful and important. Instead, try teaching your child to treat others with genuine respect and kindness, as well as teaching them to develop a sense of empathy. One way to do this is to involve your child in a group with children of different backgrounds.

In summary, a parent needs to establish an approach which works for the whole family. Above all, remember to give your child a secure home with loving discipline and constant supervision. Have a nice day!

CHIME IN: What are some ways you promote appropriate behavior while parenting an aggressive child? Share with us in the comments below!


Stella Ryne is an art historian, traveller, conscious consumer and a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book. She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable living and sustainable travel will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. Stay in touch with Stella via Twitter and  Facebook.



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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Rach

    I’m dealing with a child whose anxiety has turned into angry outbursts at school. She has trouble in social settings and is very intelligent but socially difficult at school. It’s getting so bad, the teacher has told me “she really needs help”. This has only developed over the course of this school year as last year in Kindergarten, she was beyond perfect. She won awards for Independent work and Initiative (in KINDERGARTEN)! This year, she is just impossible and I’m at a loss. These tips are resource links are great, thank you for this post.

  2. Brandi Wiatrak

    Loving discipline is key! These are great tips on how to parent an aggressive child! Great read.

  3. Ayanna

    Great tips for all children. I have three girls with different personalities and I know these tips would work in some way for all of them.

  4. Ah, I think we definitely need to create “house rules” and hang them in plain sight! I can imagine the benefit of being able to point plainly to the wall when my children are being aggressive – wrestling or lashing out at each other. I’ll wonder if each rule would need a set consequence, too.

  5. Samara

    Great tips here. I have a close friend who is dealing with frighteningly aggressive behavior from her son. I will have to send this to her. Well-written article!

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