Just wanted to add a
and a second on Soogie's suggestion. DS loves to draw and he himself initiated drawing as a way to cool down. Once I realized this was a soother for him, it was easy to redirect behavior. This thing is, aggressive feelings and behaviors are normal, for everybody. Young kids need outlets, alternatives and ways of learning about and dealing with these very normal thoughts and actions.
Ultimately, I'd like DS to be able to use words to express his strong feelings, but at this young age, it's easy to see that words are often times not enough for him to really release those strong emotions. Sheesh, I'm 37 and STILL struggle with "using my words." *sigh*
I try to remind myself often that if DS isn't acting right, it's because he isn't feeling right (Mary Kurcinka - Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles). Getting to the root of the issue, and helping DS through it is often times the best and only route to preventing the behavior in the future. For me, it's about taking time to really focus on DS (admittedly easier because he's an only child), play with him and learn about what's going on in his world. Recently, DS had taken to hitting his favorite playmates year old brother. I was initially mystied and frustrated. After taking some time to really focus on DS, I learned he was having sibling rivalry issues with the babe. Once uncovered, it was easy to see that DS was role playing the scene often (he's big on pretend and role play) and trying to work through it. I joined him one day and somewhere along the line, he seems to have worked through it. *shrug* Sometimes kids themselves can be the very best guide for how to deal with what's ailing them. They still need our help in tuning in though.
Best of luck and hang in there!