Katybug asks:

Help for a 5 year olds out of control behavior-throws toys very physically abusive to mom and nanny. Hitting as hard as can on their back

hits with force throws large toys to hurt calls names tells them to shutup out of control behavior sweet one minute when asked to stop something turns into a fist closed hit throwing at them what ever is in hand.  Very aggressive not a small child for 5 afraid he will hurt brother or younger 23 month old sister.  Pinch kicks to hurt.  Have tried everything.  Praise when doing positive will turn on you for even that
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Hand in Hand
Aug 10, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Dear Katybug,

Aggressive behavior in children can be very upsetting for the adults in their lives. I'm sure this is a tough situation for all involved and this little guy clearly could use some help with big feelings. I've attached an article from our website for you on helping children with aggression.

First, it's important to understand that children don't *want* to attack other people. I'm sure the little guy you are writing about would much rather have fun and feel safe and loved. Kids get along well with others when they are able to feel a loving connection to the caregivers in their lives.

Unfortunately, a child's sense of the connection that they need can be very fragile. Children may not always be able to tell that they are loved, respected and safe. When their sense of safe connection breaks, kids, like this little boy, feel tense, frightened, or isolated. Not feeling connected to an adult who has 'got your back' is very upsetting to a child. It causes them to lose touch with their good thinking. In this “emotional emergency,” they may lash out at other children or adults. But it's very important to understand that children don’t intend to be harmful. In fact, acts of aggression like this are beyond the child's ability to control themselves. They need an adult to help them.

The "Helping Children with Aggression" article will give you some practical steps to take to stop the hurtful behavior and listen to the feelings behind the aggression so you can both move on to having a better, closer, day.

You might also be interesting in a second article called "Handling Children's Feelings in Public Places" that talks more about using this connecting approach with children to get ahead of feelings that may cause aggression later.

Lots more on our website if you want to explore there.

We'll be thinking of you and your little guy. Let us know how it goes,

Julianne Idleman
Hand in Hand Parenting
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