Tips to calm your upset child

Raising you children is beautiful and empowering for parents but sometimes can be such a stressful and frustrating thing. Kids these days are surrounded by so many distractions that they become quite easily tired and of course that will cause them to misbehave and become frustrated and angry.

And of course that means that as a parent you will feel wound up by your child behaviour and occasionally lose your cool. And if you do and scream or slap your child in the heat of the moment you will most definitely regret after it.

So what can you do if you don’t want to be put in the shoes of the screaming parent? What should you do if you don’t want your child to later follow your steps?

Be sympathetic and listen 

It can be hard to understand why your child might want to wear a particular dress, pair of socks of trousers. Try and validate their emotions. Imagine if someone will make you wear something you don’t like. Your child will never intentionally try to drive you crazy or manipulate you. Until around 3 or 4 years old It is simply developmentally impossible as it requires a toddler to be able to understand that other people have beliefs and intentions different from their own.

If you have a toddler, remember he is just a little person amazed about this new ability to move and explore. A toddler simply doesn’t understand that his actions affect other people as he has not developed the ability to self-control. Plus, he has no sense of time so he simply can’t wait. My 3 year old daughter often says “now mummy please” and I reply “wait 1 minute” to which she replies “what’s wait mummy”. For them everything is immediate.

With my 7 year old daughter and with any other older child things are a bit different. If you feel like an older child deliberately winding you up then question yourself why they might act like that. Sometimes when my 7 year old just demands and demands I sometimes prefer to give up and give her what she wants rather than argue but that is just not the best way to act. Maybe your child also learnt that by winding you up they will always get what they want? Try to listen when your child is talking and tell him how good it is when his behaviour is positive .

Remind them to express their emotions 

Don’t cry. Don’t scream. Don’t laugh so loud. Imagine how it will be for you if someone will constantly tell you what not to do. So listen to your child and encourage him to tell you what he feels. Emotions are part of every person development.

Getting upset, frustrated, mad or angry is as normal as being happy and smiling. Explain him that even you as an adult experience a large set of emotions too.

Try and name the emotions when they happen. For example “I hear you laughing, are you happy?” , “I know you are sad mummy needs to go to work” . Naming emotions allows children to develop an emotional vocabulary and when they do it enables them to talk about their feelings.

Be an example for your child and talk about your own feelings and how you express your feelings. What do you do when you feel sad, angry or happy?

If you scream and slap when you are frustrated and angry your child will take your example. So it is better to teach them how to manage their emotions when they are still young.

Manage your own anger

Like I said above try and be an example. I know how hard it is to stop yourself reacting when you are angry. But anger usually leads to shouting and rash decisions: “Go to your room and stay there”, “That’s it no more playground or iPad for a week!”. We usually don’t follow the things we say in anger or we feels sorry after that and we take back any punishment we shouted out at them.

Plus if you do something like that you will only cause your child to get upset and anxious.  Getting angry is ok if it doesn’t control you.

Dr Victoria Samuel says it is best to:

“Tune into your body and learn to recognise early warning signs that you’re getting annoyed such as heart racing, feeling shaky or getting sweaty. Whenever you notice your body’s angry warning signs kicking in, stop what you are doing and try to look objectively at what has wound you up. This will help you to feel more in control. State your feelings, without attacking. Use ‘when…then’: “When you call me names I get upset”.Now is not a good time to get into a debate. Show willingness to resolve things but just not now – “We can talk about this tomorrow over breakfast, but right now I’m feeling too wound up”.

If your child is safe, take time out , saying “I need some time to cool down”. Remove yourself from the situation. Take deep breaths; in through your nose and out through your mouth, trying to slow your breath as much as possible. Try clenching your hands tight as you breathe in then releasing them as you breathe out. This will turn down your body’s fight-flight response and makes you feel calmer. 

If it’s hard to leave your child, use distraction techniques (counting, reciting song lyrics or a poem in your head) to stop yourself from reacting rashly. Use positive self-talk – say to yourself “I’m doing the best I can” or “Keep calm!” Displace your anger by whatever means works for you – vacuuming, singing along to a favourite song, doing exercise.”


In order to summarise all I said above and more I thought it will be good to put together the infographic below:

Tips to calm your upset child

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Source: *picture – Flickr Petr Sal



Kid Playing with leaves

Simple Ways To Make Your Child Day Better

As they grow our children’s fears and worries start to grow too. They might manifest through crying or simple belly aches but is never nice for them or for you. So why not try and make their day a bit better including them in your activities and giving them all the attention they require?

Simple Ways To Make Your Child Day Better

So slow down…and remind yourself what it is important…live a #slowlived life and have fun!

Let them help you with shopping and decide what they will have for dinner. Make a list together, go shopping and then let them help you cook it. Cutting vegetables(if they are old enough), making a salad dressing and even setting the table can give them a sense of being useful to you and that makes them happy! Do you remember how well you felt when your mum was letting helping her make those cookies? They will thrilled to spend time with you too!

Take them for a walk and stop every single time they want to. I know that probably your journey will be twice as long but once in a while you should make time for that. Stop and watch the trail of ants, admire the colourfulness of nature and answer all their questions. Do you remember how nature and the surroundings surprised you when you were a child?

Simple Ways To Make Your Child Day Better

My children love when I let them push the buttons – elevators, card machines, washing machines etc. – I don’t know but it simply gives them a sense of pleasure and control and why not let them? If they do it under your supervision they will be safe.

Spend the day playing – board games, plasticine, play doh, origami, crafting, bubbles, puddles, indoor or outdoor again they will be thrilled to spend the whole day playing with you! Forget about the mess, forget about tidying up as when they will grow they will remember you playing with them not how clean the house was.

Simple Ways To Make Your Child Day Better

Naping can be another activity you could do together. Sometimes when kids are feeling low the last thing they need is to be sent to their room and be by themselves. Even if it’s only for sleeping. So take the afternoon off and nap with them. You will give them a sense of security

Read to them. One, two or how many books they satisfy them. They like the sound of your voice this is why they like when you read them stories. I know that sometimes they might just not want to go to sleep but they will mostly just like to spend just some more time with you. Soon the day when they will ban you out of their room will come and believe me you will miss the days when they were asking for “one more story”.

Talk to them. Be there for them no matter what. Let them tell you about their worries and their upsets. And when they are happy. It is important to let them know that you are there for them no matter what. Teach them that feelings are ok and they should always talk to you about them.

Mother and daughter

I am sure there a lot more things you could do to transform your child day from a sad one to a happy one and they definitely include your presence. So please do share with us what you do with your children.


How to create teachable moments

How to create teachable moments

You have probably all heard of this term ‘teachable moment’, but do you really know what it means?

According to About Education, a teachable moment is defined as ‘an unplanned opportunity that arises in the classroom where a teacher has an ideal chance to offer insight to his or her students. A teachable moment is not something that you can plan for; rather it is a fleeting opportunity that must be sensed and seized by the teacher.”

Although, this is a great definition, you don’t have to be a ‘teacher’ or in a ‘classroom’ to ‘sense and seize’ a teachable moment. There are may times as part of normal parenting when mothers have teachable moments with their children – they just don’t know it!

Read the rest of the post on Canberra Mummy website.

How to create teachable moments