How To Deal With An Aggressive Child Not Your Own

As a parent we have probably all come into situations with an aggressive child. There is always that kid at the park that pushes the other kids or a kid at school that can’t keep their hands to themselves. My daughter once came home from daycare with a bite mark on her arm. We have all been there and it can be heartbreaking and really frustrating. How do we deal with an aggressive child that is not our own?

Many times I would like to go over to the child and yell at them and tell them that it’s not ok. I know that in most situations that’s probably not such a good idea. The parents probably wouldn’t be too happy. I have to remind myself that it is not my child or my place. I cannot discipline someone else’s child as I would my own, although I would like to. What can we do instead?

Take Action

The first thing we can do is to stop the aggressive act. If you see a child is pushing or hitting, simply tell them “no hitting” or “no pushing”. I am that parent that keeps a close watch on an aggressive child. Sometimes all you need to do is give them that look like, I’m watching you! Usually that will stop them in their tracks. Make sure they know that their aggressive behavior is not going to fly as long as you are around.

Tell The Parent

If the parent is nearby and didn’t see the incident then let them know. That way you are giving them the opportunity to correct the aggressive behavior. Unfortunately telling the parent doesn’t always help. There are many parents that could care less if their child is pushing or hitting another child. Probably because they think they are just being kids. Some parents even see the incident and do nothing. What do we do if that happens?

Remove Your Child

If you come across an aggressive child the best thing we can do for our kids is to remove them from that situation. I explain to my child that we don’t want to play there because that kid isn’t being nice. You should suggest playing somewhere else and redirect their attention. I will say “lets go play on the slide” or “lets go on the swings”. Whatever it takes to get your child away from the aggressive child.

Teach Your Child

Although no one wants to see their child being hurt it can be a huge learning tool. We can teach our child how to stand up for themselves by using their words. The next time an aggressive kid hurts your child tell them to say “Don’t push me!” or “Don’t hit me!”. We have to teach them that hitting back is not the solution. They need to know that there are other ways to defend themselves. They should be able to walk away from the situation and let an adult know.

I hope this advice will help you and your child to better deal with an aggressive child. We cannot keep our kids in a bubble forever. It is not easy, but it is all part of growing up. How do you deal with another person’s aggressive child? I would love to hear your advice. Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the list!

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6 thoughts on “How To Deal With An Aggressive Child Not Your Own”

  1. Great advice! Being a parent is tough, especially when another child is being aggressive. I love the idea of going somewhere else to play. I also think it’s important to remember that some children who are aggressive are dealing with behavioral or impulsive issues. While I’m no saying to let them off the hook, you just never know what is going on inside of those little bodies. 🙂

    1. Good point Danielle. You are absolutely right that many kids, especially before the age of 3 lack impulse control. Some kids definitely have behavioral issues as well. It is our job as the parents to help guide them into the right direction and get them the help that they need.

  2. This is an interesting perspective. Though I’m not a parent yet, I’m a special education teacher and have been approached several times when one of my students was aggressive on the playground. I think these are great tactics to teach other kiddos about how to respond should an adult not be available or not give a crap. I wish, though, there were ways in which parents could use this as a teaching opportunity to the aggressive one. And not just a “No hitting allowed.” But more like a “No hitting allowed because ____________.” Explaining why. Even if it wasn’t their child. If a child is aggressive, it could be due to a disability. But it could also be because they’ve never been taught NOT to be. Any way in which the child receives feedback is good – because they may not be getting it at home.

    1. Divya I completely agree that we should be teaching the aggressive child too. For me if the child is a complete stranger I don’t feel comfortable saying too much. You never know how their parent will react. Often times kids learn this behavior from their parents. I try to avoid confrontation if possible. Definitely in most cases the aggressive child’s behavior has not been corrected by their parents. If you are in a situation where you can correct the aggressive behavior and explain why its not OK then I would definitely do it.

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