Parents deal with frustrating, upset children all the time. If you have a toddler who is throwing a tantrum, destroying your couch cushions, or refusing to eat their vegetables and you want to know how to deal with them properly—don’t worry. You’re not alone. Most parents have days when their kids are total jerks, and you want to know how to deal with them appropriately.
What Does Your Child Do When They Are Upset?
When an upset child acts out because they are angry, there are certain things that they will do first. These include the following:
1) When their anger is extreme and profound, they will yell to get their point across. It is a good way for them to get their message across, but it can be annoying and sometimes causes other children to avoid them or be afraid.
2) They may not seem to care too much about the situation, especially if they know that you will take care of it. In this case, they may need a hug or something to help them cool off. If they see that you will take care of it, they might not want to get angry or upset at all.
3) Children tend to be stubborn, leading to them getting annoyed with you, a parent, or even their friends.
Tips in Dealing With an Upset Child
1. Forget Everything You Know About Discipline
The most important tip to remember is that you need to forget everything you know about discipline and learn how to discipline your child effectively. You can’t teach children to respect if they haven’t learned self-control. You can’t effectively discipline a child who’s being rude and disrespectful.
2. Don’t Repress Those Feelings
When your upset child starts to get out of hand, the natural tendency is for parents to want to ‘fix’ their kids. The problem with this is that it makes children angry. To effectively discipline your child, you have to let them feel the full force of their emotions.
3. Anger is Natural
So, your child threw a tantrum in the store because they wanted a toy. They broke something precious to their sibling or you as a parent, and they started yelling at you when you confronted them about it. Don’t be afraid to get angry. You know your child is upset and angry. There’s nothing wrong with repressing these bad feelings because they’re natural, and you don’t want to make your child feel bad deliberately.
4. Express Your Anger
Being angry doesn’t mean that you’re cruel or abusive. It means that you’re unhappy about your child’s situation and that you want to get them out of it as quickly as possible. Children need to learn that their emotions can’t keep other people from feeling angry.
5. Disobey Slowly
Disobeying is the best way for children to learn how to respect their parents and other authority figures. But starting with minor violations in which the child can do something on their own and then increasing to more outstanding violations that require disobedience is an effective way of disciplining your child without scaring them.
6. Be Positive
Being positive doesn’t mean that you have to sugar-coat everything. It means that you don’t get angry at your upset child for breaking the rules or doing something wrong. Instead, it encourages cooperation and learning new things.
7. Follow Through
There’s nothing more frightening than a parent who blows up at their kids when they inevitably do something wrong. Avoid this by following through with your punishment.
8. Forget Consequences
Consequences don’t work because they only punish the upset child after the fact. Treating a child like a human being worthy of respect is more important to them than anything else you could do to punish them.
9. Stop Punishing Positively
Not punishing your upset child for doing something right is as cruel as punishing them for doing something wrong. You must reward them when they follow the rules and make sure that they know it.
10. Be Nurturing
One of the most effective ways to get children to cooperate with you on getting things done is to be nurturing and warm. Starting from infancy, our young minds learn how to respond to our kindness and warmth, not just how we expect them to follow the rules.
11. Be Patient
You want to get to the point where you’re firm and consistent, but upset children will push your patience. Being patient is critical in getting them to cooperate with you, whether in completing their homework or cleaning their room. Parents should take their time and be more patient than it is for them to get angry and lash out at the child.
12. Be Consistent
Being a parent means discipline. Upset children need consistency to learn the differences between right and wrong, so be consistent in your field. If you were punishing a child for breaking the rules and then they did it again and got off with half of what was said before, then children will know that there is no consistency in how they’re punished. They’ll feel more empowered because they won’t know when to obey and when not to.
13. Say Sorry
Children want us to say sorry for them as much as we do for them. When they do something wrong, it works in our favor if we immediately apologize. The child knows that we know they’re sorry, but if they are adamant about their misbehavior, it makes them feel hurt and disregarded.
14. Be Firm
A firm and consistent discipline is the key to a child’s trust in you as a parent. If you’re not firm with your children, then they’ll think that they can always push your patience and authority to its limits and that they’ll never be held accountable for anything wrong that they do.
15. Be Clear
Children need to know what is expected of them and how they’re being disciplined. Expecting upset children to ask you if they’ve done something wrong is pointless because at some point, even though everyone knows a rule exists, it’s going to be broken. If you’ve told them what you expect them to do and how you wish them to do it, then a child will obey regardless of whether or not they understand why or if they feel like it’s the right thing for them.
Children need consistency to learn the difference between right and wrong, so be consistent in your discipline.
Please let us know if you have some other tips in dealing with an upset child. Leave us a comment below!