When your child loses it, you can lose it.
And nobody wins.
This cycle of more anger, frustration, disappointment and shame leave the parent feeling helpless and inept.
Two parenting experts offer key phrases that can take the child out of these huge emotional moments and give parents tools to help themselves and their little ones.
The first expert, Azine Graff, is a clinical psychologist and penned a recent article on how to build a child’s emotional intelligence in Motherly.
The second expert, Dayna Abraham, is a homeschooling mom of three and a National Board Certified teacher who runs Lemon Lime Adventures, a website that offers a free printable cheat sheet for help with angry children.
Both women are fans of the name it to tame it approach, which Graff references in her article as the work of Dr. Daniel Siegel. Labeling a feeling for an overwhelmed child can help the child tune into his or her own feelings, which may then help he or she be more aware of others’ feelings.
The women also believe it’s important to use phrases that validate how a child’s feeling, especially when it comes to those BIG FEELINGS.
Finally, the women share the position that parent and child should partner to get a handle on the feelings.
Here are key phrases parents, courtesy of the experts, that can be adjusted according to the situation to calm an angry child. Find more ideas on dealing with child meltdowns from Graff here and Abraham here.
10 key phrases
I see that you are upset.
I wonder if you are feeling really angry.
This is really hard right now.
You really wanted to play at the park longer and now it’s too dark.
It is okay to be angry.
You really want that toy too.
Would you like my help?
When you’re ready we can try to put the tower of blocks back together.
I can help you with your scratched knee.
I will move over to the couch and I am here for you when you want a hug.