An angry and upset child in a fit of rage can make you feel helpless unlike anything else. No matter what you do, you may feel as though there is no right way to respond, and if that is how you feel, I would like to share some helpful things I have discovered.
While there are many ways to approach an angry child depending on the source of their frustration, there are a few different phrases that will help calm your child immensely. Every parent struggles, and you are not alone. The next time your child gets upset, try using these phrases to help soothe your angry child.
1. It’s okay to be angry.
This phrase validates their emotions and may work for another way as well. Oftentimes, when children are angry, they just want to feel understood. They want you to know how they feel, so they have an outburst. Saying this phrase shows them they are heard and that it’s okay.
2. I know you are upset, and that’s okay.
This phrase helps shift your child’s focus from their mind to themselves and draws awareness to their actions. It also works to validate their emotions.
3. I am here for you.
By saying this, you are allowing them to vent their frustration while offering support. Instead of trying to change their emotions, they are allowed to release them, and when they are ready, they can ask for your help.
4. I love you.
This simple phrase helps to ease their anxiety and tension, while showing them you love them, no matter what their mood is. It also creates a safe environment and deepens the bond between parent and child.
5. I get upset, too, sometimes. Let out your warrior cry to help get your angry feelings out.
Studies have found that when we are feeling tense, yelling can help interrupt our tension, which shifts our focus away from it. Choose a warrior cry together (This is Sparta!!!!! for example) and get them to use it when they are upset. It may also shift their frustration to laughter.
6. This is tough, but we will get through it together.
Rather than fighting against your child’s anger- help them get to the bottom of why they are angry. Using this phrase puts you on their team, rather than making you an enemy, and also helps to build trust.
7. Let’s go to our calm space together to work through this.
Designate a space in your home as a calm space. Fill it with self-soothing sensory toys, or a calming noisemaker, whatever it is that makes your child (or even you) calmer. Then, when they are upset, remind them of its purpose.
8. I understand you are angry, but it’s not okay too…
Even when your little one is angry, you need to set limits and boundaries and be consistent. If your little one is lashing out and hitting you or others when they are upset, use this phrase. If they continue, follow through with whatever consequences you have set in place for them.