Updated: Mar 3, 2020
From years of coaching parents and, to be honest, being one, my 3 Buckets have become one of my favorite strategies to share. Use these buckets as a way to discern what kind of challenging behavior your child is exhibiting and then you'll know how best to respond.
A LOT of kid behaviors are just plain annoying. Nose picking, singing Baby Shark, wearing their shirt backwards, insisting on having the blue cup ..... these are developmental universals. That's why you're smiling right now, you know exactly what I'm talking about, right? Because they're developmental in nature, these behaviors will extinguish themselves. If no rule is being broken and no harm is being done, give them as little attention as possible.
Kids bump up against and break rules in their process of learning how to be human. Remind them of the line. Consistently. You can say "Please" but make your cue or your reminder a demand not a request, i.e. "Please take your feet off the table," versus "Could you please take your feet off the table." Ask for what you want, not what you don't want, i.e. "Put your backpack in the mudroom," not "Don't leave your backpack on the floor."
All kids will become aggressive either verbally, physically or both, at some point. In reaction, it is easy to leap to reprimands and consequences. BUT First, kids need our steady guidance in how to calm the storm within. And then they need an opportunity to process and learn from what happened. Depending on the situation, you may need to calm your own inner storm too before doing anything else.