Regulating emotions can be difficult for any child, those with more of a natural inclination to anger can have an especially difficult time. It is our job as parents to find ways to not only help our angry child calm down when becoming upset, but to help them learn to calm down anywhere and in any given situation. Let’s face it, a large part of parenting is preparing our kids to be on their own in school for a majority of the day.
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Tips to Help an Angry Chid Calm Down
Here are my tips for helping an angry child calm down, followed by some ways you can help your kids calm themselves down anywhere. (Check out how you can get our FREE calm down tools mini book) These tactics will give them not only the skills, but also the confidence, to navigate their anger on their own.
1. Be sympathetic.
What seems unimportant for you might be hugely important for them. When your toddler cries because she wanted blue socks and you gave her red, we think to ourselves, “what’s the big deal?”. It is important to always validate their emotions, not negate them. If they find value and importance in something, it won’t do any good to tell them that their understanding of importance is incorrect.
2. Give space, but don’t isolate.
Children with an inclination toward anger will often have an inclination toward physical aggression. Providing outlets for this such as punching a pillow or squeezing a blanket will help relieve this tension. A calm down corner provides an appropriate outlet for this aggression. Your child might not like to feel isolated from the family or from you when upset, but a bit of space can be a good thing for helping your angry child calm down.
3. Remind them that anger is ok.
Emotions are a normal part of our development, and we experience a range of them every day. It is perfectly fine to get mad, to become angry. Any consequences that you provide for your child while they are upset should always be for behaviors, not for the emotion.
4. Don’t over-react.
Model a calm voice and a calm demeanor. (Yes, easier said than done.) The calmer you are, the better chance you have of your child calming down. Conversely, any yelling or aggression will most likely be matched by your child.
5. Listen with eye contact.
Children need to feel heard, especially when upset. Eye contact dramatically helps them feel that way. Allowing them to talk about how they are feeling will help make leaps and bounds toward calming down.
8 Ways Kids Can Calm Down ANYWHERE
A copy of this calm down anywhere graphic is available in the Exclusive Content for Subscribers page, tell us where to send the password so you can access it too! Save it on your computer, or download and print to hang in your calm down corner! These tips for helping an angry child calm down will help you and your child navigate their emotions together.
RELATED: WHY SAYING CALM DOWN DOESN’T ACTUALLY WORK (seems like it would contradict this article? it’s all about the language, not what is happening 🙂
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos
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Kristen Hewitt says
This is SO good! I love this post and found it SO incredibly helpful! Pinned & stumbled, thanks. After an extremely challenging day this really helped!
Thank you so much Kristen!!! My little guys has provided me with ample experience… 😉
Nice useful tips for controlling public outbursts.
All of these tips are spot on! I love the listen with eye contact! Oh I am so guilty of not doing this! Thanks for the great reminders! Scheduled to share!
I love this one! This is such a helpful graphic too. I’ll definitely be sharing. It’s so hard to know how to handle when your child is angry.
These are great tips… I think I could use them to calm my self down from time to time too!!
Jules Ruud says
I can’t tell you how helpful this is. Anger is an emotion that I struggle with because frankly, it’s a trigger. I love what you said about giving space, but not isolating. This is brilliant. Thank you.
Thank you! My 2 and half yr old grand daughter has a temper! I’ve been looking for ways to help her calm.
You’re a life saver!
Thanks so much for reading! Glad you found it helpful 🙂
Angela Padilla says
These are wonderful ideas. I love the idea of giving a safe way to channel anger and frustration. This is much more realistic than expecting a child to not feel a certain way. Thanks so much!
Thank you! Yes expecting them not to be mad or react is just unrealistic 🙂 thanks for reading