Homeschooling     Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids     Early Education     K-12    

Words to soothe the angry child



The right phrase can make all the difference

Words to soothe the angry child


Speaking to a pre-verbal baby when they’re upset isn’t always effective. The tone of your voice may help, and if you sing, the melody may soothe, but using words to defuse a situation isn’t going to accomplish a lot until they’re at least two or three. When that time comes, making a mindful adjustment to what you say and how you say it can really help. Conversely, saying the wrong thing can, of course, make things much worse.

The folks at motherly.com have compiled a helpful list (see samples below) of phrases to use on kids, from toddlers to teenagers. “Whether your child has a slow-burning fuse or explodes like a firecracker at the slightest provocation, every child can benefit from anger management skills,” they write. “As parents, we lay the foundation for this skill set by governing our own emotions in the face an angry outburst.”

Yes, there’s that, too: how we, as parents, act and react in stressful, anger-producing situations is crucial. Surely you, like me, have known parents who bemoan their child’s anger management problem, wondering how it got so bad, when the parents themselves have notoriously short fuses. These recommendations from motherly.com can help prevent that from happening.

READ MORE: Soothing a strong-willed child

Instead of: “Stop throwing things” try: “When you throw your toys, I think you don't like playing with them. Is that what's going on?”

This is non-confrontational. According to motherly.com: “Not only does this keep the lines of communication open, you are modeling how to phrase a situation from your perspective, which in turn gives your child a chance to rephrase events in his (her) perspective.”

Instead of: “Don't be angry” try: “I get angry too sometimes. Let's try our warrior cry to get those angry feelings in check."

Motherly.com writes, “A warrior cry can work to release angry energy in a playful manner. Choose a warrior cry or mantra together with your child (think of William Wallace from the movie Brave Heart screaming “Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom!")”

Instead of: “Stop complaining” try: “I hear you. Can you come up with a solution?”

“This places the responsibility back on the child,” writes Motherly.com. “Next time your child is complaining non-stop about school/dinner/siblings, ask her to brainstorm solutions. Remind her there are no wrong answers, and the sillier she is, the better.”

We strongly advise you to check out the list in its entirety. Good luck!



More Homeschooling


  • Indoor spots for teens to play

    Older kids need to have some play time too

    Teens need places to go that aren't lame and won't bore them to tears. We have the best in the Valley listed just for you. read more »
  • Everything you need to know about student loans

    Traditional ways of paying for college aren't working

    More American families are borrowing for college. At the same time, merit aid and the use of personal income and savings i falling. read more »
  • 3 ways people of all ages can make the most of International Youth Day

    Celebrate youth activists and combat ageism

    August 12 is International Youth Day, a United Nations effort to celebrate youth activists, combat ageism and help bridge gaps between generations working toward the same change. read more »
  • Everything you should to know about student loans

    Traditional ways of paying for college aren't working

    More American families are borrowing for college. At the same time, merit aid and the use of personal income and savings i falling. read more »
  • 4 ways to get involved this global volunteer month

    It's a good time to get in on the action

    Global Volunteer Month, celebrated throughout April, is a time to recognize people who actively support their communities through volunteerism and active civic engagement. It’s also a time to get in on the action. However, if you’re like many people, you may not know where to begin. read more »
  • Minimize the risk of child identity theft

    NYS Division of Consumer Protection offers advice

    Child Identity Theft is a growing problem. According to recent data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft for those under 19 years old grew 60% in three years. read more »
  • 5 reasons why your child should (and can) learn how to play chess

    A revolutionary new game that helps kids learn this game of strategy

    Chess is one of the oldest and most popular games in history, with early forms of the game dating back to the 6th century CE. The game has certainly seen a revival since the pandemic began, as people around the globe have dusted off their chess boards and even binged one of the most-watched series ever inspired by the masterful game for much-needed entertainment. read more »
  • Visit cool sculpture parks in the Hudson Valley

    These sculptures are generally huge and sure to please

    Visit fun and educational sculpture gardens in the Hudson Valley. Sculpture Parks and their gardens are a unique way for families to appreciate and enjoy art. The open spaces are wonderful for kids of all ages. Most locations offer space to roam and enable us to enjoy these unique pieces at our own pace. read more »
  • 5 ways to get kids excited about STEM learning

    The country needs more good scientists

    The events of the past couple of years have shown how important scientists are to making the world a better and safer place. read more »
  • Keep kids learning during summer

    3 fun, easy ways

    With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules. read more »