They say that in order to maintain control of a situation in which your child is upset you must remain calm and not join in their chaos. Yet, that is much easier said than done. We all know that it can be difficult to remain calm and rational when your child is upset. Especially when it is in public over something insignificant, which is usually the case.
So how can we stay calm ourselves and help resolve the conflict within our child? We have compiled a list of tips and tools to help calm your upset child for you to consider, modify, and utilize.
Tip #1: Try to Maintain Sympathy
Thought many instances that cause your child internal conflict may seem insignificant for you, it is a situation that is very real and concerning for your child. While it is always important to validate their emotions, you don't always have to negate them. Just because your child is upset because she can't wear flip flops in the winter or eat candy for dinner doesn't mean that you have to give in. However, you should listen to their concerns.
Tip #2: Give Your Child Space
When your child is upset, oftentimes they may be overstimulated. By giving them space to sort out their feelings and calm down, your child may find peace in their ability to resolve their own conflict. In addition, this can help eliminate physical aggression that sometimes occurs with anger. Giving them space is great conflict resolution; however, isolation is not. Make sure they still know that they are loved and wanted even when they are upset.
Tip #3: Let Them Know That Anger is Okay
Many times children are shamed whenever they have outbursts or bad moments. It is important to let them know that everyone feels angry and that it is normal. How they deal with it is the key.
Tip #4: Limit Your Reaction
When your child acts out the first thing you want to do is initiate a response or punishment. However, the biggest the response they receive for their actions, the more likely they are to recur. Acknowledge the anger, but minimize your negative response. Once they realize it isn't condoned but it isn't associated with a strong reaction, their desire to act this way will gradually fade
Tip #5: Help Your Child Calm Down By Counting to Five
Though this may seem like a simple step, it is one of the most important. By allowing your child to focus on something other than a negative emotion their attention becomes directed toward a task that is intentional.
Tip #6: Take a Deep Breath
Even just taking slow deep breaths for a set period of time can help calm the mind and body. For parents that find this to be effective, yoga classes for kids help teach your child how to focus on their breath and meditate.
Tip #7: Acknowledge Antecedents to Anger
The more in tune your child is with their body and how it feels when they begin to get angry, the more able they are to alert someone when they are upset. Before the situation gets out of control, teach your child to focus on physical attributes of anger such as their face getting hot and their heart beating quickly. This can help them determine when their anger is getting the best of them.
Remember: Understand Your Purpose as a Parent
Your main goal as a parent is to help your child work through their feelings. Making them feel bad for their emotions or ashamed of their anger only worsens the situation. Give them the tools they need to succeed and conquer their anger.