9 Ways to Stay Calm When Your Child is Upset

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If your child is upset, staying calm can be quite a challenge. Sometimes, you just want to yell at them.

Of course, yelling at them won’t get you very far. So today, I want to discuss nine ways to stay calm when your child is upset. So let’s get to it and find ways to prevent your emotions from boiling over.

Ways to Stay Calm When Your Child is Upset

Keep in mind that everybody is different, so some of these methods may work for you, whereas others may not. Therefore, this is usually a trial-and-error endeavor, and you need to keep trying until you find a way that works best for you.

1. Some Deep Breathing

One of the best ways to stay calm when your child is upset is by doing deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing is used in meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques.

Deep breathing can help you calm down and manage stress. So the next time your child is upset, take at least 10 very deep and slow breaths before you respond. Not only will this help you calm down, but it will also give you some time to think.

Immediately responding is not always the best option because you might react out of anger. Instead, taking some very deep breaths and taking a few seconds will allow you to calm down to the point where you can respond rationally.

2. Using Positive Affirmations

If your child is upset, you can use positive affirmations to stay calm. Positive affirmations have been used for many years in psychiatry and psychology.

This might sound something like, “I will stay calm, I will act rationally, and I will not yell at my child.” On the other hand, it could be something like, “My child is acting normally for their age; there is no reason to get upset.” Of course, the positive affirmation will depend on you.

You can come up with a phrase or saying that works for you. The phrase or saying should have a calming effect on you. It should be a positive message that helps you deal with the situation.

Repeating this to yourself up to 10 times can be very beneficial. At the very least, it will give you some time to breathe and think. A good idea is to combine deep breathing with these positive affirmations.

3. Ask Why They’re Upset – Get to the Bottom of it

If your child is upset, you should determine why they are upset. After all, the longer your child is upset, the more effort it will take on your behalf to stay calm. Therefore, the quickest way to solve this situation is to simply calm your child down and discover why they are upset.

Although it may take a good deal of poking and prodding, your child will eventually tell you why they are upset. Then, you can take the appropriate steps to remedy the situation.

Toddlers can be upset for really mundane reasons that are easy to solve. Instead of just calming yourself, calming your child is the better option.

4. See the Humor in it

Yes, if your child is upset, it can be pretty disturbing. For example, if your child has hurt feelings, it’s not going to be very funny.

However, if your child is throwing a classic temper tantrum, you can usually find humor in it. Children often say amusing things when they are in the middle of a temper tantrum.

Instead of getting angry at the temper tantrum and matching their energy with your own temper, try to see the humor in it. We are sure that if you look hard enough, you will be able to see at least one funny aspect in your child’s temper tantrum.

Remember, kids can be irrational, unreasonable, and emotional, which means that you, as an adult, need to be the opposite. Try to see the humor in what is going on, laugh it off, and move on. This is not the first time your child is upset, and it certainly won’t be the last.

5. Look at the Positives

One way to stay calm when your child is upset is to look at the positives. After all, we assume that having a child was the greatest thing that happened to you in the grand scheme of things.

Remember that your kids are a blessing in your life. Sure, they might cause you a lot of headaches, but the good times are more than worth it.

So, always look at the positives when your child is upset. You could even combine this with positive affirmations.

Think of several things you really love about your child and repeat them in your head. This should help calm you down so you can deal with your child in a reasonable manner. Just remember that the good always outweighs the bad.

Ways to Stay Calm When Your Child is Upset

6. Distract Your Child

Kids are pretty reactive, and they are easily distracted. So if you can take your child’s mind off what is making them upset, it can quickly defuse the situation.

Therefore, if your child is upset or throwing a tantrum, turn on the TV, give them a snack, or anything else to distract them. If you are worried about rewarding their bad behavior, take them outside or for a walk, or engage in play.

If your child is causing trouble, getting them to do the dishes, fold some laundry, or sweep the floor can serve as a good distraction.

This can also serve as a warning or a punishment for their bad behavior. This way, you can get a moment of peace, calm yourself down, and calm your child down as well.

7. Call Some Other Parents – Venting

A great way to stay calm when you are upset is to vent your frustrations to someone else. But, of course, if your child is upset, it’s going to make you upset as well. So it’s never a good idea to hold your emotions in.

Therefore, a great thing you can do is vent to other parents. Call one of your parent friends going through the same issues with their children. Sometimes, letting your feelings out is all you need to avoid boiling over.

8. Get a Move On

Exercise is a great mood regulator and can stop you from being upset, and this goes for both kids and parents. It helps to decrease cortisol, a stress hormone, and increases the production of serotonin and dopamine, which help you feel better.

Therefore, if your child is feeling upset, getting them to exercise can be very beneficial. It will help regulate their mood and distract them from what is making them upset.

At the very least, exercise will tire them out. This, in turn, will also be a benefit for you. Moreover, if you are feeling upset, exercise can help burn off some of your feelings of stress and frustration.

9. Remember, They’re Just Kids

They’re just kids. If your kid is 4 years old and having a temper tantrum, it’s normal. Children are irrational. They get mad about things they don’t really need to get angry about. As long as you realize that your kids are acting age-appropriate, you should be able to stay reasonably calm.


You can use any of these 9 ways to stay calm when your child is upset. Some of these methods may work better than others, so find one or a combination that works best for you.

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