Aggression and Poor Behaviour in Children

We see a lot of children who come to our child and adolescent psychologists for help with aggression, anger and poor behaviour.

Poor behaviour

It’s normal for children to get upset with others at times. However, when a child’s behaviour becomes consistently poor, or includes hitting, scratching, kicking, biting, yelling, throwing things or swearing then it becomes a problem for the child and those around them.


Many parents have difficulty understanding why a child has become aggressive or is acting poorly on a regular basis. This is quite a common reality for many parents. It is often not easy being a parent, as children don’t come with instruction manuals !

The reasons for children’s behaviour can be broad and are different for everyone.  So it is important to gain a good understanding around some of the unique drivers behind your child’s behaviour. However, children aren’t always able to understand their own thoughts and emotions, or adequately describe them to others.

Our psychologists are trained to work with children and adolescents to help understand underlying reasons for their behaviours and the triggers that may be causing them. We consult with parents to build up a picture of what’s happening. Once we are able to gain a better understanding of why a behaviour is occurring then we can work with the child and his or her parent(s) to improve the situation over time.

Some of the reasons we find are often linked to instability at home, family break-up, a lack of established routine or boundaries, or problems arising at school.

What to do

What to do differs, and depends on the situation for each child. We will work with you to determine the best approaches. Some of these might involve:

  • providing improved understanding to parent(s) and child around what is acceptable behaviour and what is normal,
  • establishing some clearer boundaries around behaviour and the child’s lifestyle,
  • a program which encourages both parents and children, and helps to improve the relationships between them,
  • helping the child with social difficulties,
  • improving the child’s coping skills,
  • assisting the child to adjust to new home environments,
  • providing other knowledge or strategies for improvement.

Doing nothing is not going to help ! Talk to your school, compare with others in your social networks, or give us a call for a free chat about how we might be able to help. Ph 1300 855 601.