5 Calming Phrases to Promote Child Anger Management

July 01, 2021

Anger management is a tough skill to learn. This is true for adults and children too. Therefore, I like to approach this topic delicately. In our previous article titled 5 Best Child Anger Management Tips for Parents, I explained how to manage tantrums from your toddler. One of the tips there is to be mindful of the words you use. Therefore, I curated this article to equip you with the right phrases to promote child anger management.

Breathe in, out, in, out, and here we go!


  1. I understand you don’t want this. Let’s try something different

Your child will not always agree with your option. And that’s okay. But throwing a tantrum to get what they want is not okay. So, when your toddler keeps saying NO, don’t fight it by yelling back or forcing the same option on them. Instead, make them feel heard by telling them you understand what they mean and you are ready to try something else.

This is where it gets tricky. Don’t fall back to their option. Any other option you are providing should come from your list, not theirs. But this time, make it feel like they have an option by telling them to choose. In the end, it falls within the options you already had in mind. Your child is safe and happy.

  1. I can’t hear you now. Let’s go somewhere private so we can talk.

Kids throwing tantrums in a public place can be embarrassing, no doubt. Nonetheless, telling it as it is doesn’t help you in any way. Instead of telling them that they are embarrassing you, try acting like you can’t hear them because of all the noise that you would rather go to a quiet place so you can talk.

  1. I hear you and I want to understand you

Most of the crying and anger outbursts you see with kids can be resolved if they feel you are listening and that you understand what they are saying. That’s why they keep throwing tantrums until you pay attention to their needs. However, instead of giving in to shut them up, why not calmly make them understand that you hear them and you want to understand. Ask them to tell you anything they need you to understand and softly [yet firmly] make them understand the things you want them to know too. Keep it conversational and friendly but never give in. A little compromise every now and then helps too.

Example: I understand you want ice cream. And I am glad you told me. Now, it is my turn. Do you understand why ice cream at this time is bad for you?

  1. If you hear we whisper it back, okay?

Saying the same thing over and again should be the first item on the job description of any parent or guardian. You don’t have to tell me how frustrating this can be. I know!

What I do is to get them to repeat the things I said. So, instead of yelling “how many times do I have to tell you to ______” I simply ask them to repeat after me. When I say stop _____. I make them say it back.

  1. When you throw things around, I think you don’t like them.

Every parent is familiar with toddlers throwing things around as a means to express their anger. Being common doesn’t make this right. You ought to teach them the value of property and the right way to express their anger. But you cannot achieve this by yelling “stop throwing things”. Instead, you should try communication how their action makes you feel. Let them understand that by throwing their toys and other things, they send the message that they do not like those things. Ask them if that’s what they mean. And if the answer is no, then tell them to reconstruct their message by following a different approach.


Parting thought…

Anger is a feeling. Like other feelings, it ought to be expressed, not suppressed. Instead of shushing your toddler, why not try out these 5 calming phrases to promote child anger management.

There are a bunch of other calming phrases you can use for teens and toddlers. Check out the complete list on HuffPost.

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