Skip to main content

Keeping calm with your child

Explore this article's topics:


Behaviour Coping with parenting

Being a parent can be hard work. All kids are difficult at times, no matter how old they are. Keeping your cool can feel impossible at times. But there are things you can do to stay in control - no matter how much they’re testing your patience.

Keeping calm with your baby

Dealing with a crying baby can be difficult, especially when you don’t know why they’re crying. Crying is their only way to let us know they're not happy. It just doesn’t tell us why. If you’ve fed and changed your baby, they’ve just been down for a nap and are still crying the house down it can be very upsetting. You can feel at your wit’s end.

Crying babies are not misbehaving. They just can’t tell you what’s wrong. Maybe they don’t like their food, they’re uncomfortable, they don’t feel well, or they just want a cuddle.  We’ve compiled some tips on what to do if your baby is constantly crying.

It’s normal for new parents to feel overwhelmed and anxious at times. And that’s why it’s so important to look after yourself, here are some ideas.

Keeping calm with your toddler

At this age your wee one will start testing your patience and pushing your buttons. As hard as it can feel, this is a normal stage of development and helps them to learn independence.

Children need consistent boundaries to feel secure – even if they push against them! It will teach them what is acceptable behaviour. Talking about your emotions can help them understand their own emotions and how to express themselves.

Tantrums are inevitable with a toddler, but there are things you can do to cope with the situation. Be aware of what sets your child off - whether it’s getting dressed or having dinner, and be prepared for any bad behaviour

Animation of cartoon character throwing toys

Animation of cartoon character throwing toys

Keeping calm with your child

As your child gets older you might feel they should know how to behave. But they’re still learning, and pushing boundaries is a part of growing up. When they’ve misbehaved, talk about the thing they’ve done and not them personally. They’re not bad, their behaviour is. By not making it personal, this can stop the situation becoming worse.

They may be disappointed or upset about something, so try to see things through their eyes and why they’re upset. Make sure you let them know that it’s ok to feel angry or sad, but the behaviour is not ok.

Remember that you’re not alone –all of us struggle from time to time. Talk to someone you trust, like a partner, friend, family member, health visitor or your GP. If you don’t want to talk to someone you know, you can also chat to Parentline.

Animated character with steam coming out of ears

Animated character with steam coming out of ears

What if I don’t get it right?

Staying calm when you’re wound up isn’t easy and takes practice, so don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t always get it right. All parents lose their temper sometimes, but you can set a positive example to your child by saying sorry if you do.

Remember that you’re not alone – all of us struggle from time to time. Talk to someone you trust, like a partner, friend, family member, health visitor or your GP. If you don’t want to talk to someone you know, you can also chat to Parentline.

Free Solihull Approach Online courses for parents and carers

We know you’ve probably got a lot on your plate at the moment, but you might be interested in looking at these free online parenting courses for parents and carers. The Solihull Approach Online courses cover a range of topics and ages from pregnancy to 19+ years. These courses are for everyone, for everyday parenting. They don’t tell you how to parent, that’s up to you. Instead they offer a way to understand what might be going on and space to think about how you want to respond. 

You can find out more at www.inourplace.co.uk and access the courses for free using the code TARTAN.

Last updated: 31 Jan, 2023