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Aggressiveness and arrogance in child. Why is he getting violent? How to help him?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My son (4.3 yrs) has become very stubborn and over aggressive. He hits his classmates if he/she doesnt agree with what he is saying. I'm getting continuous complaints from his school also. My husband has to stay away due to work. I'm staying with my parents currently. He will cry/throw things around him/hit me if anything is not done according to his wish.
Posted Fri, 1 Jun 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 6 hours later
Thanks for posting your query .
It's common for young children to turn aggressive when they are frustrated, are facing a change or stressful situation at home or school or want to seek attention.
Whatever be the cause you have to understand that many a times it's just a phase and the child gradually learns to behave well with proper support from parents and teachers.
If the problem increases to such an extent that it is affecting your child's emotions , activity and relationships then it's best to consult a child guidance clinic or child psychologists in your area . These therapists can find out the cause of the aggression and accordingly treat it with counselling , behaviour and play therapy etc.
Meanwhile you can try the following tips to control his behaviour ,
1.Don't punish your child. Your child isn't bad, and you're not bad for having a child with a behavior problem; these things just happen.Punishment for bad behavior will only make your child feel terrible about himself and prolong the difficulty by further shutting down his thinking.
2.Try talking. Your child may be able to tell you straight out what's bothering him, or you may have to set up certain conditions first. Children talk to adults when they feel safe, loved, and close. You can give your child that sense of contact either by playing with him vigorously and generously, or by listening to him without judgment or interruption.
3.Stay close to your child. You can always help your child have a better day at school if you take time for closeness. Get up a bit earlier to carve out some relaxed time with your child as the day begins; a little bit of snuggling or playful cuddling in the morning can set him up for a better day. He'll go to school feeling more connected to you, and a little sturdier when he encounters a trigger that usually sets him off.
4.Respond quickly. Try to respond immediately when you see your child getting to let him know instantly when he's done something wrong. Remove him from the situation for a brief time-out — for eg, three or four minutes is plenty. The idea is for him to connect his behavior with the consequence and figure out that if he hits or bites, he'll miss out on the fun.
5.Don't be afraid to seek help. Some kids have more trouble with aggression than others do. If your childs behavior is frequent and severe, interferes with school or other organized activities, and results in physical attacks on children or adults, consult his pediatrician for assessment.
Hope I have answered your query.
I'll be available for any follow up queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Aggressiveness and arrogance in child. Why is he getting violent? How to help him? 11 hours later
Thanks for your response. I'm a working mother and spend as much time as possible with my son. He also tells me sometimes that why did he hit someone, e.g., yesterday i gt a complaint from his school bus conductor that he had hit some kid in the bus. When I asked him abt that, he said that, that kid refused to sit with him and thats why he hit him. He has become used to getting the things done according to his wishes. He is very sharp and intelligent, but due to this stubborness, he sometimes refuses to write what the teacher is asking him to..Pl assist.
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Yes , this is very common in kids in this age group as they cannot understand the concept of let go or refusal.
For kids , parents always fulfill their wishes, do things which make them comfortable , and hence sometimes it makes it difficult for them to share , obey and take orders in school or playground .
I appreciate your efforts as a vigilant parent and its good that you can communicate with your child.
For this particular situation you can talk about it and make your son understand that it's ok to be upset if somebody refuses you and he can even vent his dissapointment or anger by telling it to his friend or teacher or you but in any case hitting is not a good thing to do and will make him feel more bad rather than happy.
For the general approach to minimize such behaviour you may try the following,
1.Suggest better ways of showing how to vent his anger eg: by kicking a ball, pounding his fist into a pillow, finding an adult to mediate the dispute, or simply voicing his feelings.
2.Now is also a good time to teach him to walk away from infuriating situations and people until he can think of a better way to respond than letting his fists fly.
3.Also make sure your child understands that he needs to say "I'm sorry" when he oversteps his bounds — even if you have to lead him by the hand to the offended party and say it for him. His apologies might seem insincere at first, but the lesson will eventually sink in.
4.Reward good behavior. Rather than paying attention to your child when he misbehaves, try to catch him being good — when he asks for a turn at the game instead of snatching the game , for instance, or gives up his swing to another child who's been waiting. Tell him how proud of him you are. Show him that self-control and conflict resolution are more satisfying — and get better results — than shoving other kids .Keep a special calendar on the refrigerator or on his bedroom bulletin board, and reward him with a colorful sticker when he manages to keep his temper in check.
Also talk to his teachers in helping him control his behaviour by avoiding blaming him or giving drastic punishment in school.
When he refuses to write they need to give him an explanation and reasons for writing rather than ordering him to write. If he is persuaded lovingly he should be able to overcome his anger.
With time this problem will surely resolve .
If his stubbornness is disrupting his studies and friendships do consult a counsellor or psychologist
Hope this answers your query.
Please accept the answer if you have no further queries.
Wishing you and your child good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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