How to discipline an aggressive child and teenager?

How to discipline an aggressive child


How to discipline an aggressive child is a topic that is evergreen.

When your cute little boy or girl changes from a docile and happy mummy or daddy’s baby and begins to step into their terrible teens, parents are often left feeling helpless and insecure about how to handle them.

Parents often come to me asking for help on how to discipline an aggressive child because the parenting strategies they used earlier do not seem to work anymore.

What compounds the problem is when these teenagers begin to assert their independence demanding more physical, emotional and mental space from their involved parents. The teen aggression gets triggered and parents feel the impact.

In this blog we discuss the eight steps parents can learn on how to discipline an aggressive child bearing in mind that their baby is now a teenager!

1) To learn how to discipline an aggressive child the first step is to stop being in denial.

You have to accept the fact that your baby has grown into a teenager – a young boy/girl and you cannot cootchie coo them any longer because they resent it and sometimes your child will look at you with eyes that read – “When will you grow up?”

2) Your aggressive child or teenager looks like an adult

BUT is not an adult especially when it comes to shouldering responsibilities. Eg. When parents fight you cannot expect your teenager to take sides by listening to your issues. You need to learn how to discipline your aggressive child not expect him to discipline you!

3) Your teen’s brain and body are going through huge developments and sometimes he becomes an aggressive child for this reason.

His emotional brain is more accessible to him than his logical, analytical brain. Therefore there are going to be times when his emotions take over and you might be at the receiving end without always being at fault.

4) You have to learn to give your child/teenager his privacy

Try and understand that your teen might be wanting more privacy. He is asserting his independence and that he is a separate entity by expressing the need for space. Teenagers do not like others entering their room or private space because this is their way of expressing their independence.

5) An aggressive child is also one who feels he is wrong.

Parents who are always nagging their teensmaking them feel wrong about themselves. They go to bed with the feeling that they can not do anything right and that he/she is always annoying their parents. That causes their self esteem to drop even further causing them to lash out as an aggressive child.

6) Are you controlling your teens with puppet strings and that is making him into an aggressive child?

Those puppet strings held ok so far because they were young and needed your guidance. But now as they are discovering themselves as young teenagers they are pulling from their end of the string – causing you to pull from your end as you are used to doing. It is time for you to allow some loosening of those tight strings so they have the flexibility to explore their adventure of life. I would ask you to consider the repercussions of holding on too tight – causing those strings to snap.
You need to have more faith on your own parenting, the values you have given to them and trust that your child will pull through with you supporting them from a distance. Because when you relax you will find that they will be more relaxed and easy going and the need to discipline your child will diminish.

7) Acknowledge what your child is feeling.

– because when you focus your attention on their emotions rather than labeling them, they will feel understood. They will feel like you care about their emotions and open up more to you as your child.

8) Your teenager will try and push for more freedom

Understand that your teenager will try and push for more freedom and push those boundaries. Do not react by saying things like – “You are so stupid” or “You are so unreasonable.” Because this makes him feel like you are treating him like a little boy and pushes him further away from you. Your teen is trying to become his own person and if you treat him like a baby or your enemy then you will continue to struggle with how to discipline your aggressive child.


In case you are struggling to understand your teenager or you feel you are unable to discipline your child who has become too aggressive, you can jump onto a call with me to discuss your specific situation by filling (takes 3 mins) up this FORM