8 ways to calm a worked-up child

It can often be a tough time for parents when their kids get worked up and angry

The parenting years to young children are tricky ones!
Young kids are grown enough to have their own ideas and wants, but their little emotions haven't kept the pace. It can often be a tough time for parents when their kids get worked up and angry and there is no easy way to manage it - especially when they have a full on meltdown.
Our typical ways of responding to worked up and angry children often do precisely the opposite to what we wish for to happen. Rather than calming everyone down we shout or threaten, with the end result often being that our children become more upset.
Here are 8 ways to try to calm your worked up child.
  • Stay in control yourself:It sounds simple, but we all know it’s not. You have to stay in control. If you are out of control the children will follow your lead – often out of fear. You can't bring your child to their senses by raising your voice or making threats. Getting mad will only escalate their emotions. If you're tense, they will pick up on it, and it's going to rise them even more.
  • Love:Kids need our love the most at the times they least deserve it. While our love is always unconditional, when they struggle to give it is when they really need it.
  • Hugs: This will likely be the last thing you feel like doing when your kid is getting their freak on, but it really can help! Hugs will help make your child feel secure and let them know that you care even if you don't agree with how they are behaving. They sometimes just need a safe place to get their emotions out. Hugs keep kids calm so you can can talk about issues productively.
  • Empathy: If we can see the world through our children’s eyes, we can be more in tune with them. You’ll not only know how they feel, but you will feel how they feel. It’s very effective in calming an angry or upset child.
  • Distraction:Try to engage with them or interest them in something else. Laughter, tickles, jokes or songs can work. It can help them move on from an angry, worked-up emotional state- especially in young kids.
  • Stimulation:Sometimes our little people get tired and emotional because they’ve been overly stimulated (or under-stimulated!) In the case of over stimulation, retire somewhere quiet can help them calm down. Under stimulated kids can get upset out of boredom- so for them take them to environment where there is activity and distraction- this can help them calm down because it will give them something to do.
  • Offer FoodBeing tired and hungry are big angry triggers. Think about how you act when you’re exhausted or famished. When a child’s blood sugar hits rock bottom the effect is magnified tenfold. Offer healthy options for your children to eat when you see them starting to lose the plot.
  • Space:Like us all, sometimes our kids just need a little space! If they are old enough to comprehend, consider asking them if they would you like you stay with them, or should you leave them alone? If they go for the alone time option, give them a hug before they head off to calm down so they feel loved and safe.
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