Positive phrases to calm a child

Despite knowing it’s ineffective, it’s all too easy to snap and yell at the kids when they’ve pushed you to your limit. Removing yourself from the situation and counting to ten before responding is all well and good, but it can also help to arm yourself with a few positive phrases to calm a child, when tantrums are looming. Here are some you could try:

  • It’s perfectly normal to feel angry. Using this phrase helps to open up a dialogue between you and your child so you can get to the bottom of the issue. It’s okay that your child feels angry and yelling back rarely helps.
  • Let’s work together to sort this out. If your child is getting frustrated, knowing that you are on their side can flip the situation on its head.
  • Can you think of a way to make it better? Giving your child options to work out the problem at hand lets them know that you trust them and can help restore their sense of control.
  • Why don’t we have a break from this for a bit? If your child is getting frustrated on a task, like homework for example, pushing them won’t help. Take a breather and come back to it later.
  • Shall we go somewhere quiet to talk about this? Removing your child from their siblings to talk about their behaviour can be more effective than when you have other little ears listening in. Your child might be more inclined to share their side of the story when they have your undivided attention.
  • I can feel myself getting worked up over your behaviour. Let’s both calm down. Admitting your feelings to your child can really help in a tense situation. Taking time to both calm down can allow you to sort the issue more rationally.
  • You shouldn’t do that because… Explaining why something is wrong rather than just forbidding it makes more sense to your child. If you have a good reason for stopping their behaviour, they are more likely to stop than if they think you are just being ‘mean’.

Essentially, use the positive phrases to calm your child, try to open up a dialogue, be honest about your feelings and explain to them why their behaviour is unacceptable.

Do you have any other tips for dealing with difficult behaviour? We’d love to hear them!

For more on positive parenting, try Is your child angry all the time? and Parenting a highly sensitive child