Many can agree that caring for a child is no easy task. Between making sure they don’t get into trouble and teaching them what is right and wrong, there is a lot to childcare. However, people have all kinds of experiences with their children. One experience that many parents can say they’ve shared is dealing with a cranky child.
For a lot of people, a cranky child could range from loud crying to full-on tantrums. How does one deal with a cranky child without getting upset themselves? Here are some ten tips on how to calm down a cranky child.
10 Understand What’s Wrong
A good first step is to understand why your child is upset. There could be many reasons that they are cranky. It’s always good to get to the root of the problem before you can find a solution. This also helps establish yourself as the problem solver to your child. Should they have a problem in the future, it is more likely they will look to you for help.
What’s more, it helps build communication between the two of you. More than this, it will help them expand their emotional vocabulary. Finding the problem will also help your child work out their feelings and understand them.
9 Establish Eye Contact With Them
Another initial step to calming your child is making eye contact with them. The importance of this tip is to ensure that your child is paying attention to you. It also helps in showing the child that you are paying attention to them as well. When you don’t establish eye contact, there is a high chance that your child won’t listen to you. If you don’t catch their attention or don’t show them proper attention, then they are lewwewew4ss likely to calm down. Eye contact can also work as a non-verbal way to show your child that you are listening to them, showing that they are important.
8 Don’t Get Upset Yourself
When you see a child upset, it’s hard not to get upset yourself. However, a child can be rather sensitive to their parent’s moods. Should you show negative emotion yourself, your child may not respond well to it. Additionally, they take emotional cues from you. By showing them how you handle your own temper, you help them develop how they handle their own tempers in the future. If you do get upset, it’s best to try and express yourself calmly to let them understand and even apologize if you let your anger out inappropriately. Basically, this is a good building block in developing your child’s temperament.
7 Acknowledge Their Feelings
A child may not always be able to verbally say what’s wrong and they may honestly not know themselves. They may be too young to properly say what’s upsetting them. Or, they might be too upset to say anything at all. That’s why physically expressing yourself can also help. By mimicking their body language, expressing through hand gestures and using facial expressions, it gives them a sense of being understood. It’s a good way to help relieve their frustration and catch their attention. Once you catch their attention, you can work out why they are upset and find a way around it.
6 Use A Feelings Chart
This is another good way for your child to express themselves if they can’t verbally say it. A feelings chart is basically a chart showing a line of emotions ranging from happy to sad or mad. It’s a good communication tool between a parent and a child that isn’t able to properly talk yet. When your child gets cranky, you can take out the chart and ask them to point out what picture suits what they are feeling. It encourages the child to show what they are feeling and make them think as well. Rather than throwing a temper tantrum, they can stop by looking through the chart.
5 Have Them Learn Deep Breathing
Deep breathing has been shown as a technique to help kids learn how to calm themselves down. Show them how to do so by placing their hand on your chest and making them do the same. Demonstrate deep breathing. You can make them enjoy the exercise by making it fun for them.
You could make a sort of game to practice or have them repeat to you what they learned. That way, you keep their attention and have them learn something for themselves. When they succeed, you can reward them with lots of affection. This can also be a way to teach them to take a step back and keep calm.
4 Teach Them To See Another View
In other words, have your child learn to empathize with others. With how upset they get, children often don’t see how they are affecting others with their temper. It would be a good time to teach them to see things from another person’s perspective. Ask them how they would feel if they saw someone throwing a tantrum, screaming and kicking. If they have siblings, they could be used as samples as well. This will engage them in thinking and have them distracted from their tantrums. In short, distracting your child by having them think about something else makes for a good calming method.
3 Choose The Right Time To Step In
Sometimes, it’s ok to let your child let out a little steam. You can’t always jump in and have them calm down. Chances are, jumping in early might make them more upset. This helps them feel more in control of the situation and show it’s ok to be upset sometimes. You can still encourage them from the sidelines and ascertain when it’s right to move in. This is another way to let them overcome a challenge but also know that you’re there for them. You can also utilize this to help them learn how to deal with things by themselves when they are upset.
2 Reward And Acknowledge Good Behavior
At a young age, it’s important to teach your child the meaning of consequences. The same goes for the opposite, if they do good, they get something good in return. It will help your child learn to continue good behavior and learn when to and not to do certain things. You should also be varied and careful with your rewards. Repetition can only go so far with children. If you reward them every time they do something good, they may only demonstrate good behavior and expect something in return all the time. That said, rewards make for good motivators and incentives to not get cranky.
1 Manage Bad Behavior And Time Outs
As said, it’s important for your child to learn consequences for their actions. With bad behavior such as temper tantrums, if escalated, should be punished. The most viable punishment would be a timeout. By leaving them alone when they misbehave, you give them an awareness of when they are doing something wrong. It may be hard to leave them alone when they upset, but when implemented correctly, a timeout is rather effective. Make sure to limit time outs to a minute or two. Time outs should also be used for certain bad behavior and not all moments a child acts out.