15 phrases to instantly calm your infuriated son (instead of saying things that will do the opposite)
Posted April 16
When a child is angry, things parents say can actually increase or prolong their irritation instead of soothing it. Instead of using frustrated and angry words, here’s what to say:
1. "I see you're upset. Tell me what's going on."
Try this instead of, "stop complaining!"
2. "Let's go talk alone. You can open up to me."
This is much more effective than "Can’t you see everyone watching? This is embarrassing."
3. "I love you!"
Instead of saying phrases that increase your anger towards your child like “I’m tired of you acting this way” always tell them you love them. It’s a good way to remind them (and yourself) how special they are.
4. "It's OK to be angry. Sometimes I get angry too."
Instead of yelling at him and implying that he has no right to be angry, try explaining the emotions he is feeling — we all have them. Children just need to learn how to control these feelings. If you only yell at him to go to his room, he’ll never learn how to calm down and think things through rationally.
5. "I can help you."
When he's frustrated about not being able to complete a task, calm him down by lovingly helping him. Use a teaching moment to distract him from his anger.
6. "How about something to eat or lying down for a bit? You may be annoyed because you are hungry or sleepy."
Instead getting irritated when he is bored or annoyed, give him a chance to change his attitude and find a solution to his anger.
7. "I'll be here when you're ready to talk."
If he locks himself away in his room, try telling him you’re ready and willing to talk about things when he is.
8. "I know how you feel."
Don’t belittle his feelings, even if the reason he's upset is irrational. Empathize with what he is going through.
9. "There will be other opportunities for you to try again."
If your son is upset after a big game or a disappointing test result, choose your words carefully. Tell him how proud you are for trying in the first place. Encourage him to try again and make sure he knows you love him.
10. "I'm sure things will be better tomorrow!"
Positivity is key when your son is feeling upset.
11. "How about we start all over again?"
Encourage him to keep going. Your son needs your love and support.
12. "What if we do this, instead of that?”
If your son is feeling frustrated, help him out by suggesting other options.
13. "You are so important to me. I don’t like to see you like this."
Express how much you care to help him work through his frustration.
14. "Let me explain again. Could you repeat what I said? I want to see if you understand."
It’s easy to lash out and say, "How many times do I have to repeat this? Why is it so difficult to understand?" But when you take the time to explain and make sure your child understands, you’ll grow closer together.
15. "Come and give me a hug."
A kind and gentle touch will teach him so much more than a harsh spanking ever will.
Running headlong into an argument with your son is like having a snowball fight with rocks – everyone ends up getting hurt.
If you are constantly angry with your child or vice versa, consider seeking professional help from a therapist. One mother shared on her blog how she tried everything to reduce her son's fits of rage until she discovered that the root of the problem was much deeper than she had imagined. It was something that could have only been identified with the help of a trained professional. If you are concerned about your situation, maybe you should do the same.
Erika Strassburger is Brazilian, mother of three boys, BS in Business Administration, freelance writer and social curator.