One thing I’ve noticed in the last couple of weeks as school has started back is how many parents are talking about the frustration of school. Their own frustration and their kids’. So today I’m going to share some tips to help a frustrated child (or even yourself) feel better.
Helping A Frustrated Child Feel Better
- Stay calm: When emotions are high, it’s easy to get upset right along with your child, and before you know it, both of your frustrations just grow. Focus on keeping your voice low and slow. Give your child an opportunity to talk through their feelings without any big reactions from you.
- Acknowledge their feelings: A simple responses like, “I understand that it’s tough when ____ doesn’t work the way you want it to.” or “___ makes me sad, too.” can help your child to feel understood.
- Tell them you love them.
- Offer a hug or help: Some frustrated kids just want a hug, but there are other kids who don’t want to be touched or helped in the moment. Offering a hug or help gives them the power to say yes or no. That’s a great gift for a child who feels powerless in the moment. If they don’t want a hug or help, let them know that’s okay and you will sit there with them until they are ready.
- As they start to calm down, you can try a funny faces challenge or getting physical by dancing or jumping for one minute. This can be a great way to let off a little extra steam and reset the moment.
Another great idea is to practice some breathing exercises to help a frustrated child calm down. An easy breathing exercise to try: Count to four while your child inhales, have your child hold their breath while you count to three, and then count to four while your child exhales. Have them think about something that makes them happy, something pretty, or something they love while they do this. This technique works great for frustrated parents, too!
This school year feels particularly frustrating for all of us, but we will make it through!