Give your child a hug when he acts out aggressively!

Does your child acts out aggressively?

There were three times that Ethan acted out very aggressively that it really frightened me. He was only around 3 years old at that time when he suddenly became very aggressive. I did not know what happened to him and why he was acting out like that. In fact, I thought he seemed like he was being possessed!

I cannot remember the exact cause that made him act out but it was over something very simple. Then out of the sudden, he started throwing things (like stools and small chairs). He started screaming and shouting and crying. He looked like he was really out of control. It took him quite a while to finally calm down.

And then it happened again after 2 days. The same thing repeated itself and he lost total control of himself.

The next time it happened (which was also after 2 – 3 days), his daddy was at home. Daddy just spanked him and instead of getting scared, he acted even worse! He spat at daddy and continued his rage. Seeing him like that really, really made me very sad that it almost broke my heart. How come my dear son was acting like that? I felt so hopeless. So I just pulled him to me and hugged him very tightly. Initially, he pulled back and tried to get away from him but I won’t let him go. I held him tighter as he tried harder to struggle and break free from me. Finally, he just stopped struggling and hugged me back. He was crying non-stop that I felt that my heart was crying out for him too.

When everything was over, I sat down to talk to him about what happened. I asked him why was he acting the way he did. He couldn’t give me an answer but said that a boy from his babysitter’s place also spat when the boy was angry. I explained to him that spitting at anyone was totally unacceptable in our family and that he shouldn’t do that anymore. I also told him that whenever he feels angry, hurt, upset or whatever, he can just ask me to give him a big hug so that he will feel ok again.

Since that time, he had never acted out so aggressively again. And whenever he was upset or angry, he would come to me and ask me to give him a big hug and kiss him to make him feel ok again. Even Isabel has learned that she can always come to me for a hug and kiss when she is upset.

But of course, I have to admit that when either Ethan or Isabel made me extremely angry and then came to me for a hug, it really took all my willpower to hug them back. I mean, I was so angry and I had to stop all my emotions and hug them! But since I had already promised them that I would hug them, then there was definitely no backing out from it. I guess I have to learn to control my emotions too, just like what I was asking them to do.

So when I read a post on The Way of The Peaceful Parent (, it brought back memories of the times Ethan acted out. I like The Way of The Peaceful Parent Facebook Page as it teaches parents to react in a peaceful and calm manner when their children misbehave. If your child does lashes out aggressively, you can check out their post as I find it very useful ( It explains why children act out aggressively and what you can do as a peaceful parent to help them out.

I am trying to train myself to remain calm in all sorts of unpleasant situations so I do not need to spank or yell. I had successfully passed the spanking part as I do not spanked my kids anymore (I haven’t done it in years already!) and am now working very hard on the yelling part. It is really going to take more strength and determination on this part!

Share with us how you deal with your child when he or she acts out aggressively.

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