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Keeping calm with your child

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

gif of child throwing toys

gif of child 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.

gif of parent with steam coming from ears

gif of parent with steam coming from ears

What if I don’t get it right?

Staying calm when you’re wound up takes practice, so don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t always get it right. If you do end up losing your temper, make sure you say sorry to your child afterwards. This sets a good example for them.

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 online course

While we know you may be under different pressures right now, you might be interested in looking at this free online parenting course for parents and carers of children aged 0 to 19. The course aims to help parents and carers understand their child’s development, support them emotionally and improve their relationship. For more details and to sign up visit https://inourplace.heiapply.com/online-learning/ and use the code ‘tartan’ to gain free access.