Help with an Aggressive Toddler

Updated on November 08, 2006
C.S. asks from Billings, MT
7 answers

As a family, we are having a problem with my youngest nephew. He is 2 yrs old. He is overly aggressive towards my daughter and their other cousin who is 5 yrs old. He scratches at faces, claws, bites and screams. My older nephew has cuts all over his face and bite bruises and cuts all over his arms. My daughter got bit the other day on her finger and he broke skin. She was bleeding. We've tried what seems like everything. Time outs, trying to explain that its not nice and it hurts, etc, all the way to a spanking (I hate to do that). His mother does not believe he has a problem. She says its the other kids.

What can I do next?

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answers from St. Louis on

Please listen to Yvonne. Don't bite back. Use compassion and love and gentleness. Look into his eyes and smile. Hug, cuddle. Massage.....children who are aware of their own bodies, are aware that other people have bodies that can feel pain.

Was this child strapped into restraining devices a lot as an infant? ie, swing, bouncer, exersaucer, car seat....Theese things do not allow the child to move on his own, and movement an exploration are how infants become body aware and their brains develop to full potential. I know it is difficult to spend time keeping or babies company and entertained, but it is crucial for their development.
Babies need to be on the floor figuring out how to move. They also need to be nurtured and held in order to learn to love. Children who are left alone too much become aggressive.
I am also aware that possible brain dysfunctions can arise from vaccines.

Have you tried "time in" ? When the child sits with a loving adult as opposed to sitting alone in a time out.

You can visit
or search developmental movement for other sites.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

If it was my child being bit....

I would tell the mother of the aggressive child that the children could not play together until his biting and hitting was under control. I know that is easier said than done...



answers from Portland on

Hi C.,
I have a niece who is the same way. She is horrible to deal with. Dont get me wrong I love her but She is so mean to my children I dread her coming over. I have tried to talk to her parents and they dont see it as a problem. Saying that all children act up and I am over reacting. It has come down to that when they come over she is only allowed to play with the other children in the living room while her parents are with her or she cannot come over. If another parent will not control their child then all you can do is protect yours and if that means not letting that child come around so much then that may be what you have to do.
good luck



answers from Spokane on

Having worked in a two year class room for almost three years, I have found that more cases than not, the child is acting out for a reason. THe key is to the get to the bottom of the behavior. Praise him when he is doing something postive, even if it is little, try to find at least one thing everyday to praise about. As for stoping the behavior, the redirection of the childs' behavior has got to the same between all the caregivers involed. While he is doing something that is not ok, try telling him something that he CAN do " YOu may go KICK a ball" "If you need to push, push a wall" "You can go bite a pillow"
Good luck



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi C. S, I'm a licensed home daycare procvider in the Pomona,Ca . I've read a lot on this issue so i would know how to deal with if a child bite another at my home daycare.The advice i learned was 2-3 yr olds don't really know how to express their selfs verbally fast enough yet so sometimes they get their point across by biting,scratching, kicking etc.

That doesn't mean it's okay, it's just how they react to a situation when their angry at the other child.

if an adult is near they need to intervene before a bite happens. If the child strikes before you can stop it, tell that child that's not okay every time they hurt anothr child. Just know it can be prevented if you know the child is physical. Give the aggresive child powers by telling him to tell the other child that's provoking him hey that's not okay. C. S please respong back to me if these suggestions were helpful. After all 2-3 yr old kids aren't bad their ,they need to learn language development to empower their selves to not be physical. D. Howard owner of Precious home Daycare



answers from Yakima on

try watching what happends between all the children and what leads up to this situation. when young children are frustrated sometimes they lash out becuase they cant comunicate whats wrong with them. Also, i'm not suggesting he is, but have yu though of aspergers syndrome? children that have it are found to be more aggresive, it's worth looking into!



answers from Seattle on

That kind of behavior is unacceptable. Have you tried sitting his mother and telling her how serious this is? His cousins should not be getting injured all the time just trying to play with their cousin. I would be especially concerned if his mother isn't addressing this at all. Biting, pushing, clawing, & scratching are not normal toddler behaviors. Some kids go through phases, but if you address is properly, it usually goes away.

If she won't address it, I know it seems harsh, but I'd keep my kids away from this little boy. It isn't worth someone being seriously hurt, IMO. What if she scratches someone's eye?

Is there a reason that she thinks it is the other kids? How old is your daughter? It is a matter of this little boy getting frustrated with the older kids? Sometimes older kids like to take away toys, pick on littler kids, etc. Pretty normal stuff, but for a 2 year old can be pretty frustrating. Does your nephew speak well? The frustration level can go up a lot with a toddler who can't express himself.

If you have to have your kids around him, and she won't do anything, it is going to be up to you and the other parent to just watch them together ALL.THE.TIME. and intervene before someone gets hurt.

Good luck. I hope you can get this figured out.

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