How To Calm An Upset Child?

By Aparna Desikan

September 30, 2022

Big emotions can be overwhelming for children. Anger, frustration and embarrassment might make children upset and they might express them through tantrums and meltdowns. Parents can use these methods to calm their upset child effectively.

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Down to the child's level

Often, parents look at these emotions from an adult’s point of view and end up dismissing them as silly or trivial. However, for the child, an overwhelming emotion is a huge deal. Understanding issues from their perspective helps us solve them faster.

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Identify the emotion

Is the child angry or embarrassed, or just overwhelmed? Identifying them will help you trace the origin of the emotion and the underlying issue, and that takes care of half of the job! All you have to do now is calm them down.

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Acknowledge feelings

When the child feels heard, they get consoled faster. Phrases like ‘I understand it’s very hard’ and ‘I am there for you’ help the child realise that their emotions matter, and they begin to calm down.

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Let them express

While it is not advisable to let your child’s anger snowball into a tantrum, your child’s emotions must not be completely stifled. Teaching them healthy ways to express themselves will help them regulate their emotions.

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Listen to them

When children express their emotions, offer a kind ear and ensure they feel heard and their emotions are validated. This will create a safe space for communication and will prevent meltdowns in future.

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Talk about the issue

Once your child calms down, talk about the issue in detail. This will make you understand the root cause of what made them upset, and your child will handle similar situations better.

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Offer solutions

As a parent, you can help your child find solutions to the situations that cause them to be upset in the first place. However, you need not impose but merely offer your solutions that the child might later implement in similar situations.

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