Hi, I have a 27 months old girl, she is very intelligent but she has kind of violent behavior towards other children. She will attack (pinch, pull or slap) children who are around her. This problem started when she was about 20 months old.

Now she is attending playgroup for the past two weeks but she was made to sit away from the rest. I was pretty upset about that but I knew there no other choice to prevent her from hurting others. I am very lost. Please give me some advise on this.

violent behavior in kids


Your little girl is testing boundaries and attempting to understand how to interact with peers socially. She is currently at a developmental stage, which is known as the “autonomy versus shame & doubt” stage.

In this stage, children exert their will and are determined to exert control over various situations. They do so to learn what is socially acceptable and what is not. This type of boundary testing also helps children develop into a confident and in-control individual.

While all children go through this developmental stage, your daughter may be doing so somewhat differently to her peers by being excessively aggressive. It is very important to nip the problem behaviors in the bud now. This can be done by meeting with her teachers at playgroup and discussing behavioral modification techniques, which should be implemented not only in playgroup but at home.

It is vital for you to be consistent in all environments your daughter finds herself in. If you are inconsistent with parenting then she will get mixed messages.

Von Auer Psychology CentreDr Vanessa von Auer is the Clinic Director/Psychologist of Von Auer Psychology Centre VAPC. She has spent her career helping parents learn effective parenting strategies, has helped children process their emotional difficulties in healthy ways and has helped families grower closer in their dynamics with one another. For more information, visit

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