In your parenting journey, you’ve likely had an experience of your child visibly expressing negative emotions. Think about how you dealt with the situation. Did you get angry at your child? Did you talk the problem through with them? Parents may not always understand the best ways of managing their child’s frustration, but don’t beat yourself up! There’s still room for growth — you still have a chance to learn how to help your child deal and cope with events that make them frustrated. Check out some useful tips below.
Many parents may have the tendency to be dismissive of signs of frustration in their child. Children oftentimes hear phrases like “It’s not that bad” “Worse things have happened to other children”. Although your intentions as a parent may be pure, you may not realize that you’re actually diminishing your child’s feelings.
You can avoid this by instead, taking on a more understanding and more empathetic approach. For example, your child may become frustrated when they lose a school competition that they’ve worked hard for. Instead of offering them solutions outright, listen to what they have to say. Ask questions about why they felt that way or why they reacted in that manner.
When your child can see that you genuinely want to listen to them, they may feel much more comfortable turning towards you for support in the future. Make sure that you talk to them in a way that’s suited to their emotional maturity and verbal capacity.
Frustration among children may also be the cause of frustration in parents. Dealing with a crying or angry child may be difficult at times, especially when you’re also thinking about problems of your own. But if you truly want to be a source of help for your child, try to remain calm in the situation.
Even when your child may not really be able to calm down at the moment, knowing that you can be a voice of reason might help them. Use kind words when responding to your child.
Whenever possible, it might also help to offer them a gesture of affirmation like hugging or even a simple patting on their shoulder. Give your child time to voice out their emotions and be patient when they’re doing so.
Children may get frustrated for a number of reasons, especially when they might not yet know how to handle them. For example, some children may feel angry when they don’t get to eat their favorite snack, or when they’re complaining about doing simple chores.
While the first thing that you may do is to berate your child, try to find another approach where you’re able to communicate clearly your expectations for them. In the first situation mentioned, it helps to give practical explanations on why your child should eat healthy food instead. Meanwhile, in the other situation, tell them that doing house chores can promote the value of responsibility.
Frustrations may be caused by a lack of understanding between your child and the situation. Be a helping hand, a voice of reason, and engage in clear communication that will help them think through the negative experience they are going through.
At the end of the day, your child just wants a solution to their cause of frustration. This gives them a sense of assurance that it’s not the end of the world when they encounter a frustrating situation. Now’s your chance to offer your input and your thoughts about the matter.
Try to give practical and measurable advice that your child can do. Let’s go back to the example of losing a school competition. Let your child know that there are other competitions that they can join. Reassure them that they can still improve their skills and become a better competitor in the future.
Managing your child’s frustration can be difficult when you don’t know where to begin. Even if you have good intentions for your child, your reaction might cause them to feel more reserved and unwilling to open up. As such, you may need to take a step-by-step approach to the problem.
First, you need to know their exact feelings. Keep in mind that you should remain calm all throughout the situation. Use clear and simple language that’s age-appropriate for your child.
Then, once you’re able to gain a grasp of the problem, take the opportunity to give your child practical advice and reassurance. The more consistently you practice this, the more your child will be able to learn how to handle frustrations on their own, even in adulthood.