How can I stop my 5-year-old from hitting and kicking kids at school? He doesn't behave this way anywhere else. My wife and I don't argue much and we have a happy household. We are embarrassed and confused.

I have tried talking to him but this isn't helping. His teacher says he is such a sweet boy. And we agree! Not sure what corrective measures to use next.

  • Hi David, welcome to the site. We might be able to help you if you're able to add some more details. How often is the hitting and kicking occurring? What precipitates it, if anything? What has the school communicated to you? What have you talked to him about, and what did he say?
    – Joe
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 21:04
  • I'm confused - the teacher says he is a sweet boy despite him hitting and kicking kids? That doesn't like a sweet boy to me. Can you add a bit more context here?
    – Erik
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 10:25
  • Some bad interactions with other kids in class? Can you move him to a different class? Kids sometimes react like that when they are in a stressful (for them) situation. Alternately, if other kids give him attention and he craves attention.
    – Norman
    Commented May 18, 2018 at 18:10

2 Answers 2


I totally disagree with Max W. Yes, you need to defer to the teacher and teach your child to respect the teacher, but your child needs to see that you respect him/her as well. Staging a meeting with the teacher and telling him how embarrassed you are of the child's behavior is extremely embarrassing to a child!

Take your child out for ice cream or play a game with her and when she is in a relaxed mood, ask her if anyone is bothering her at school and brainstorm together with her about what can be done. There is a reason he/she is kicking other kids. Even if he can't express his feelings, he will hopefully, if he trusts you and sees that you respect him, tell you what is happening at school.


Frankly since he is misbehaving in school, the teacher needs to be the primary disciplinarian. You need to back the teacher. Have a discussion with the teacher about how you can support him or her. The two of you must work together to solve this behavior problem. As Joe pointed out in a comment you must also try to determine exactly what is happening and why.

The worse thing you could do is to just consider this to be only the teacher's problem and ignore the problem.

One suggestion would be to have a meeting with the teacher and the child. In front of the child tell the teacher how embarrassed you are about the behavior. You agree that the behavior is inappropriate and you will work with the teacher to change the child's behavior. The notion is that you are openly deferring to authority of the teacher in front of the child.

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