How To Handle Destructive Kids

Young children below the age of five tend to be “little warriors” around the house, ready to barge and destroy anything that is in their path. These years can be quite stressful for some parents especially if this is the first child. The reason for this mostly stem from the inability of parents to effectively communicate with their young children. This leads most parents to make statements such as “It is just a phase, it will pass eventually.” During these formative years, it is imperative that parents work on building communication bridges with their children. To find out more ways to handle destructive kids, read on.


  • 1

    Check Yourself

    Whether you see the actions of these children as deliberate or not, do not let you emotions take over you for you to react in a heavy-handed way, even if you have good intentions. As adults, we are expected to see through these tantrums and difficult behavior to get at the root of the matter.

    Whether they want attention, are bored, hungry or restless, as an adult you must apply wisdom at all times with children. Most young children, only understand basic needs like food, sleep and the like and might be “acting out” to get your attention to what is inconveniencing them. Children are different just because your neighbor’s son is calm and quiet does not mean your hyper daughter is an idle troublemaker. Most times, you will notice that it is when your back is turned that the chaos begins, try facing them and communicate “toddler speak”.

  • 2

    Pay Attention

    This means developing full attention and presence with your children. You might wonder if you are losing out on your “me” time with friends and other fun things you believe you should be doing, but this is a sacrifice you must make to ensure you are children feel your presence around them. With adult supervision, most children will behave themselves automatically.

  • 3

    Be Firm

    When you feel the need to put a stop to certain destructive behavior remember to maintain a firm voice as you speak to the child. To be more effective, maintain eye contact. You could also apply a warning/action policy. For example; when it is meal time and they throw their food away, give them a warning the first time, then the second time simply take it away from them and don’t say another word.

    Another example is if they like throwing their toys everywhere and messing the place. Remember warning first, then next time restore on a shelf where their hands won’t reach and change the activity quickly, acting composed and calm. Do that with everything else, a warning, and then an action, let them recognize the pattern, soon they would understand you and to behave.

  • 4

    Organize A Schedule

    Introduce some structure into the lives of these children. This takes idle time from them. A child would roam around with reckless abandon engaging anything that catches his/her eye but if that child’s day was structured that would have the child studying, playing, eating or engaged in a specific activity at a specific time, the chances of that child acting out would be slim, because mow you a child that is fully engaged. This will make them know when they are to do what, it won’t be easy at first, but patience and dedication would help you and them to cooperate in the long run.

  • 5

    Engage Them

    Another technique is to engage them in your own activities, by making it all fun. A song or a dance routine can be inviting and fun, this will distract them from the regular path to do chaos. Do the singing whilst you work and let loose with them. Also play with them, in their own activities. This is bonding and will cause them to listen more and be more receptive.

  • 6


    Don’t be afraid to call them out when they show inappropriate behavior quickly and let it linger for a few seconds then change the activity casually. Also when they do something good, praise them and have a sensible reward for them even. This will prompt the others to follow suit since they know when they do something right they get rewarded, but let it not be a daily habit. As they might grow into it and believe for whatever they do, they deserve something for it. Once in a while is good enough.

  • 7

    Allow Them To Be Kids Once In A While

    This should be once in a week, as a shocking surprise. They should be allowed to let loose once In a while so they don’t feel caged and held. Perhaps once a week, preferably on a Sunday and let them see you watch them and wonder why you are not telling them to behave or stop, laugh and smile as well, then when Monday comes up, the time table is up.

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