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20 Phrases to Stop a Tantrum Before it Begins

This month our theme is "Parenting with Grace" so I thought I'd share a few phrases I have found to be helpful with children over the years. Responding to your child's big emotions in a gracious way, not only helps to calm their anxieties in the moment, but it also provides a model for how to handle stressful situations in the future.

In addition, as these phrases become more natural to you, you'll notice they can help keep YOU calm in the heat of the moment. Raising compassionate kids starts with how we respond to their feelings of fear and frustration. So the next time you notice your kiddo is on the verge of exploding, try using one of the phrases below:

  1. “I can see that you’re….”

  2. “I love you too much to argue about this.”

  3. “It’s okay to cry.”

  4. “You’re showing me you feel…”

  5. “Could you use a hug?”

  6. “Let’s take a break and come back to talk when we both feel calm.”

  7. “I love you no matter what.”

  8. “If any kid can figure this out, you can!”

  9. “Let’s use our teamwork skills to get this done.”

  10. “We can add that toy to your Birthday wish list.”

  11. “I’ll listen when your voice is calm.”

  12. “Would you like hear some ideas of what other kids have tried?”

  13. “How can I help you right now?”

  14. “Tell me more about that.”

  15. “What would make you feel better right now?”

  16. “It sounds like….. Is that correct?”

  17. “I bet that was frustrating.”

  18. “Let’s take some deep breaths together.”

  19. “I’m sorry for…..”

  20. “I’m here for you and you are safe.”

I have something even better for you! You can find my free guide for dealing with tough parenting moments HERE! And if you'd like to get my free step-by-step guide to Taming Tantrums you can find that HERE!

Another proactive approach is to provide your child an outlet for their excess energy and desire for autonomy/control. For some ideas, you can download my free Maximum Effort Activity guide here. These can help your child to build self-awareness and to feel more centered in their environment, both of which are foundational to cooperative behavior.

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