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How to help your child overcome tantrums

by Content Editor
How to help your child overcome tantrums

Does our child have a recurring temper tantrum? You can’t just grab an eraser and erase his irritation. But by changing the way we communicate with him, we can influence his behavior. 12 magic phrases to defuse tantrums.

Table of contents

Magic Phrase 1: You have a right to be angry

If he goes off the deep end, there’s bound to be a reason. Anger allows him to say that something is wrong with him. On the other hand, refusing an emotion is the best way to increase it. Our advice: welcome his annoyance with a sympathetic ear. He is not happy because someone stole his toy? Tell him you understand. Knowing that someone else shares his feelings will help him to calm down.

Magic Phrase 2: Come into my arms!

When a child explodes, it is impossible for him to find the exit door to calm down. It is such a source of anxiety for him that it maintains the crisis and amplifies it. To comfort him, nothing like a hug. Gestures of tenderness promote the secretion of oxytocin, the hormone of attachment, which provides an immediate feeling of calm. They also have a beneficial effect in the long term. The more you fill his emotional reservoir, the more you will give him the strength to face difficulties and regulate his emotions later.

Magic Phrase 3: Gee, did he do that to you?

Since children have no perspective on things, they may feel hurt over small things. To help them play it down, don’t hesitate to react oppositely to bring a little lightness to the situation. When they come back from piano lessons, they complain that their teacher gave them two little pieces to revise, and they stomp their feet, so they don’t have to go back to class? Play the humor card: How could he do such a thing? This will teach him to put things into perspective.

Magic Phrase 4: Whenever you’re ready, you can come to talk to me.

Is he sulking? Don’t try to force the dialogue right away. Just because you tell him you’re available to talk doesn’t mean he is. Give them time to digest their anger and take responsibility for when they come back to you. The key is to always keep a door open. Is he sulking? Give him a new challenge after fifteen minutes: Is it that bad that we’re not going to the carousel this afternoon? But above all, stay firm on your positions. If you give in to him, he may sulk regularly to get what he wants.

Magic Phrase 5: What does Nestor the beaver think?

Take the test: grab his blanket and make him say everything you have trouble getting your child to say. You’ll see, the pill will go down much better. A comforter is a transitional object, which allows the child to put things at a distance. So don’t hesitate, use them!

Magic Phrase 6: If I were you, I would do it immediately, but it’s up to you.

There’s nothing you can do. Every time you ask him to set the table, he resists. It’s typical of children with the temperament of a pack leader: they hate being given orders and always try to get the upper hand. Above all, don’t get angry and play it cool. Give them the impression that they are the ones who will decide. Just tell him in a tone of voice that is both calm and firm: If I were you, I would do it immediately, but it’s up to you. You’ll see, even if he’s not happy, he’ll do what you asked.

Magic phrase 7: Well done, you’ve made progress.

As parents, we also have a role to play as coaches for our children. Has your little one managed to stay calm in a situation that could have gotten out of hand or was getting out of hand? That’s worth noting. By complimenting him, not only will you encourage him to repeat this behavior, but you’ll also boost his self-esteem.

Magic Phrase 8: Are you frowning, are you angry?

To learn how to manage anger, you have to know that you are angry. To help your child become familiar with this emotion, take care to describe the signs and physical manifestations: you’re shouting, your face is all red, your breath is quickening, you have a lump in your stomach. Also, have fun drawing up a list with your child of terms that describe the different degrees of anger, from the least to the most intense: impatient, disgruntled, annoyed, irritated, angry, furious. Putting words to your emotions will help your child to better control himself.

Magic Phrase 9: Go run!

There’s nothing like running or kicking a ball around to learn how to channel your emotions, anger in particular! Physical activity has the dual advantage of burning cortisol, a stress vector, and producing endorphins, the pleasure hormone. Your child is not athletic? Drawing, writing, and singing also work very well to externalize his aggressiveness.

Magic Phrase 10: I speak to you with respect; I expect the same from you in return!

As soon as you show respect to your child, both in the words you use and in the way you behave with him, you are legitimate to demand the same thing from him. If he goes over the line, don’t let it go. Ask him to rephrase his sentence.

Magic Phrase 11: Stop!

Of course, there’s no question of letting him do whatever he wants. However, avoid saying “no” to him at every turn. Most of the time, the “no” is said in a reproachful tone and will tend to amplify his exasperation and thus increase his stress. Prefer the word “stop”, which has the merit of stopping the child in his tracks without making him feel guilty.

Magic phrase 12: Okay, you made a mistake, but you’re still a good person!

All it takes is for him to slip up when he draws a picture, and that’s the tragedy: he gets angry and tears up the paper in a rage! Your son can’t stand to make the slightest mistake. No wonder. We live in a society where the culture of mistakes is not developed at all: our children have to get everything right the first time if they don’t want to be seen as losers. It’s up to you to remind them that failure teaches them that everyone has the right to make mistakes and that even if they do, they’re not a failure. To bounce back, he needs to regain a minimum of self-confidence.


Temper tantrums may make you doubt your parenting skills, but they’re a natural part of childhood. Being calm and clear about behavioral standards is crucial because it allows you to interact with a kid more successfully. The above phrases can go a long way in helping your child overcome tantrums.

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