How to Stop Aggressive Behavior

Because aggressive behavior can often lead to violence, learning how to de-escalate feelings is an important life skill for children and teens.  Here at LFCS, we teach kids how to be in charge of their feelings through evidence-based programs.

Are you struggling with an aggressive child? Follow the tips below based on our current practices.

  1. Empathize. Express that you know how upsetting it can be to not get your way (or to have someone say mean things to you, or to be challenged by a task, etc.) and that you feel that way too.  As an adult it is important to “level” with the child and let them know that the frustration they are feeling is normal, but putting your hands on someone else is not a way to solve it.
  2. Control you own temper. Modeling appropriate behavior is the best way for children to learn appropriate behavior.  If you express your anger in appropriate ways children can learn from that.
  3. Help your child identify triggers. If losing in a video game or spending time with a specific person consistently sets your child off, help them to notice that.  Oftentimes kids aren’t able to piece together X leads to Y, so as the adult it is your responsibility to help paint the larger picture.
  4. Find ways to channel the aggressive energy. For some kids this may be participating in sports or other activities that require expending a lot of energy, for others it maybe art classes or yoga that help them to focus and relax.


Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri provides an anger management program for teens in the St. Louis region. The program is designed to enhance positive social behaviors and skills, as well as to address aggressive behaviors and impulsiveness of participating youth. Click here to learn more.