Toddler Aggression When To Worry: Signs Of High-Risk Behavior

Toddler aggression can be a frightening thing for parents to witness. It is normal for toddlers to have tantrums and act out, but for toddler aggression when to worry?

If your child demonstrates prolonged aggression and you find it hard to manage on your own, it’s recommended to seek advice from your pediatrician. Additionally, be aware of the following warning signs: physical injuries to oneself or others like bruises and head injuries, as well as attacks on both adults and yourself.

We will provide tips on how to deal with aggressive behavior in toddlers.

Toddler Aggression When To Worry

Is Aggressive Toddler Behavior Normal?

While threes, fours, and fives are known to engage in behaviors such as hitting, kicking, and biting, these should not be overlooked or regarded as “just a phase.”

In toddlerhood, oppositional and aggressive behavior is linked to poorer social competence, school performance, and the likelihood of dropping out of school. Chronic severe aggression is also a risk factor for significant bodily injury, theft, and juvenile crime in adolescence.

What Causes Children To Be Aggressive?

Internal risk factors:

  • The temperament of a difficult child.
  • Perinatal stress, such as being born prematurely.

External risk factors:

  • Aggressive parenting style.
  • Permissive parenting.
  • Witnessing domestic abuse.
  • Drug use by parents​.
  • Not getting what they want like Tums.

Toddler Aggression When To Worry?

Aggression does not appear overnight, so it will not just go away on its own. Researchers have discovered five high-risk behaviors that hunger, sleep difficulties, or illness can trigger but do not include tantrums due to lack of food.

  1. During the previous 10-20 tantrum periods, your child was aggressive or destructive toward caregivers at least half of the time.
  2. During child’s aggressive behavior, such as head banging, holding their breath, or striking themselves, they demonstrate self-injurious behavior or self-directed aggression.
  3. On numerous occasions, you witness more than five tantrums a day.
  4. Tantrums can last for up to half an hour.
  5. They have difficulty relaxing.

How To Deal With An Aggressive Child?

1. Calm Down – Take A Deep Breath

The first and most crucial step for frustrated parents when dealing with a toddler’s aggressive behavior is to take a deep breath and keep calm. The most common reason for toddler fury is a parent’s dissatisfaction with bad behavior. A parent’s emotional stability has an impact on his or her child’s ability to handle their emotions.

You must set a good example for self-control by controlling your feelings. Rather than being furious or accusing, remain patient and compassionate, no matter how hard the youngster tries to assault back.

2. Protect Your Child

Take steps to safeguard the toddler, others, and property from dangerous behavior. To protect all parties, stop the child from hitting their head or any body part on things, physically separate them if necessary, or relocate them to a safe environment. Stop scolding, punishing, or threatening your toddler with harsh punishment because it simply adds fuel to the fire.

3. Recognize Their Emotions

Accept their intense feelings and connect with them. In calming down an emotionally aroused youngster, attunement and acknowledgment can assist. You’re not suggesting that they should stop acting out. You’re simply accepting how powerful their emotions are.

4. Encourage Your Child To Talk It Out

Emotion coaching is the process of teaching children how to understand, identify, and control their emotions. Emotion coaching does not directly reduce children’s aggressiveness; however, it can help them better regulate their emotions, which might assist with behavioral issues.

5. Try Alternative Behavior Modification Methods

Encourage toddlers to address conflicts more constructively. There are frequently alternative methods to handle difficulties, but we must demonstrate them to them. You’re also giving children the chance to practice their communication skills while assisting them in resolving problems.

6. Be Open And Honest With The Toddler

A youngster’s capacity to handle conflicts and negotiate disagreements is one of the most essential abilities to learn. The ability to interact with others and observe how parents communicate with each other is learned at home through family exchanges and watching how parents interact.

If their wish is unachievable, explain why and provide alternatives. Explain to them why they can’t have or perform something even if they don’t comprehend it yet. This will assist with their critical thinking abilities.

7. Teach Your Kid Different Ways To Control Aggression

Feelings of frustration may happen to everyone. Show them that it’s OK to be frustrated, but it’s not OK to be violent. In the future, show your youngster how to express strong feelings productively. Resolve situations with breathing exercises, words for vocalizing their complaint, punching a pillow, and asking parents or family members for a hug.

Prevent Aggressive Toddler Behavior

Say No To Physical Punishment

Physical punishment is often used to discipline aggressive behaviors, which teaches them that violence might solve problems. If you hit your kid to instill good conduct, he or she will imitate your actions. Instead, utilize good parenting.

Teach Anger Management

Share your own experiences with anger and how you handle it with your child. Being a good role model is the greatest thing you can do to help prevent your child’s violence. Talking freely about your feelings of rage also helps children learn various methods for coping with stress, which might help them see that violence isn’t always the answer.

Re-evaluate Your Opinions

Toddlers are curious about the world around them, and they want to be self-reliant. It may be very stressful to constantly hear “No,” for a long period. Re-examine what you’re saying no to.

Allow your strong-willed young child to have some control over things that are safe by reducing your limits on what children must listen to you.

Keep An Eye On The Aggressive Behavior

Most parents of non-aggressive children notice and correct minor misbehavior early on. Do not utilize the power assertion control techniques when dealing with your kid. Aggressive tendencies are typically linked to highly controlling parenting tactics, such as anger, harshness, and criticism.

Teach Problem-Solving Techniques

After they’ve had time to calm down, you can also educate them on how to disagree appropriately and how to propose a viable alternative properly.

Compliment Your Toddler For Good Behavior

If everything their parents say is “no” or “bad,” a toddler may get discouraged. When your youngster exhibits good conduct, offer them a compliment.

For Toddler Aggression When To Worry And Seek Professional Help?

If your toddler’s condition gets worse and does not improve:

  • May bite, kick, scream, and yell at others excessively.
  • He may throw violent, uncontrollable temper tantrums about every little thing.
  • They are always hitting everyone, including themselves.

Professional assistance from a child development specialist may be required. It’s always a good idea to seek expert advice if you believe the child’s behavior is getting worse.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Why is my toddler so mean and aggressive?

Ans: Toddlers can become angry when they encounter a challenge, are unable to communicate their wants, or are deprived of a basic need.

Q2: What are the symptoms of toddler behavioral issues?

Ans: The main symptom of a behavioral issue in toddlers is aggressive behavior, uncontrollable crying, temper tantrums, and self-injurious behavior.

Q3: What are the signs of toddler aggression towards the mother?

Ans: The main sign of toddler aggression toward the mother is hitting, kicking, and biting.

Q4: Why is my 3-year-old extremely aggressive?

Ans: Aggressive Children might be irritated or stressed. The stress may be as simple as not wanting to share, or it may be something more serious such as a family change or the addition of a new sibling. Children could also pick up aggressive tendencies from their parents and friends.

Q5: Are boy toddlers more aggressive?

Ans: Some studies suggest that boys are more likely to be aggressive than girls, while other studies find no significant difference between the genders.


Toddler aggression is a serious issue that should not be ignored. If you think your toddler is exhibiting aggressive tendencies, it’s important to seek professional help. Remember, violence is never the answer.

Utilize good parenting techniques, such as anger management and problem-solving skills to help prevent your child’s aggression. This includes praising your toddler when they display good behavior. If this doesn’t work, then try to get professional help as soon as possible.

Sarah here, mother of two here to guide you on your parenting journey. I know motherhood isn't easy, but I'm here to share my wisdom and experience so that you can make the most out of this amazing adventure. Linkedln

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