5 Year Old Hitting At School? 5 Common Reasons Why

Why Is My 5 Year Old Hitting At School 5 Reasons Why

As my son grew past the toddler years, he got more and more boisterous.

Play fighting became the norm.

Every day.

He got too boisterous to play fight with his mom and also his gran. It was me only. When he went to school, I got a little concerned. What if he fought like this with his peers?

He went through a phase of hitting during his toddler years, but this would be different! They wouldn’t stand a chance!

In this post, I will look at the reasons why you have a 5-year-old hitting at school and what you can do about it!

Sometimes, I imagine what it would be like if I were called up to face the principal because he had been fighting or hitting other kids! It hasn’t happened, which is awesome. He knows that he should only play fight that hard at home with me, and he actually listened!

But, what if he did start hitting at school? What would I do?

What you will learn in this post:

  • Why your 5-year-old is hitting at school.
  • 5 things you can do to stop it
5 Year Old Hitting At School

5 Reasons Why You Have a 5-Year-Old Hitting At School

Before you can address this issue, it would help to understand exactly what is causing this behavior. Then you can use that knowledge to stop it from happening.

If you want to know how to stop a 5-year old from hitting at school.. then the following 5 common reasons are where you should start…

Play Fighting

I mentioned it briefly above, and I wanted to cover it here because it is one of the most common reasons you have a 5-year-old hitting at school.

When your 5-year-old play fights at home, there is potential that they will take this behavior to school and think they can do it with their friends.

Sure, play fighting is a part of growing up, and we can’t stop that (it is human nature). We can control it… to some extent!


School can become tough when your child gets to this age. When your kid is 5, school begins to move away from play and starts to get a little more serious!

This can lead to your child becoming frustrated because of the gear shift in learning. Also, there is a chance that the work is getting a little difficult, which may build frustration in your 5-year-old.


This is another one of my fears as a dad to a 5-year-old! When I think of him being bullied, the rage grows inside of me. I want to go back to being 5, so I can strut into his school and sort out all the bullies. Knowing what I know now, bullies are too easy to sort out!

If you think this is the case, then you should address your concerns with his teachers. The last thing you want is an angry 5-year-old hitting out and becoming a bully themselves!


It is tiring being a 5-year-old! Not only do you burn off a ton of energy during the day by running, playing, climbing, and falling over (happens a lot), but the work you are being made to do at school is mentally draining too.

You know as well as the next parent how challenging a child can get if they are tired! They will either become accident-prone, silly, or just straight-up angry.


Fear leads to some strange behavior! In most kids, it will lead to withdrawing from the situation (mostly to preserve life); this is because of the natural ‘stress response’ or ‘fight or flight‘ as it is also known.

Your child may be lashing out at school because they feel frightened.

5 Things You Can Do To Stop Your 5 Year Old Hitting At School

The following 5 tips will give you advice on how to stop your child from hitting at school. I have given you the 5 most common reasons why they are hitting, and now we move on actually stopping it.

5 Year Old Hitting At School Infographic

1. Define Clear Consequences

Your 5 year old needs to understand exactly what the consequences are if they hit out at school. I am talking about the consequences at home and at school here.

For a start, your 5-year-old will be in huge trouble at school, and they need to understand that. Also, they need to understand that the punishment will not stop after school. At home, there will also be a punishment waiting for them.

Discuss this punishment with your 5-year-old so they understand what to expect if they hit out at school. There must be consequences for hitting at school… so set expectations accordingly!

2. Identify Patterns – Respond

When a 5-year-old lashes out, it is not usually an immediate reaction. If you watch them closely enough, you will start to notice the signs that a right hook is on the cards.

It would help if you were watching closely for signs that this is about to happen. As soon as you identify the build-up, it would be best if you spoke to your child’s teachers at school. Let them know that you have identified an issue and you are working on resolving it. But if they notice the build-up, they can also help stop it before the boxing match starts.

3. Behave Yourself

OK, there are two things I mean by this. 1. Do not punch people. It goes without saying that kids learn how to behave from those around them. If you punch people, your 5-year-old will punch people. 2. When play fighting, explain the rules.

The rule of play fighting is to only go in hard when fighting with you. If they go in hard on others, they may get hurt, and your child will get into trouble (see tip 1). Set expectations, and set the rules.

4. Teach Emotional Responses

Anger is a response that happens due to fear, frustration, and many other emotions. Your job is to teach your child to respond in a different and better way.

Instead of frustration, your child should be asking for help. Instead of lashing out, they should be learning to control fear by using other methods such as breathing.

To stop your 5-year-old from hitting at school, you should teach them how to deal with emotions using other methods.

5. Praise Positive Behavior

One of the most important parts of parenting is discipline. Discipline should not simply be a punishment for bad behavior. It would be best if you also were rewarding good behavior.

If you want to understand how to discipline a child for hitting at school, then you should begin by rewarding good behavior!

When you can see your child building up to a punch, but then they cool down before lashing out, then you should 100% be giving out a world full of positive praise! That way, your 5-year-old will learn that they get rewarded for reacting a different way.


When you find yourself with a child hitting at school, it is a huge problem! Luckily the 5 tips on this page will help if you have a 5-year-old hitting at school.

I’ve also covered the 5 most common reasons, which you should also consider when addressing this problem.

Ultimately, it is good to learn that violence rarely solves anything. It only makes it worse. The job of a parent is to teach them.

Good luck! And keep your guard up!

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