Your Child’s Behavior is a Foreign Language: Become a Behavior Detective and Translate It! (Topic: ANGRY)

By Ava Parnass, Author, Songwriter and Child Psychotherapist

This week’s topic: ANGRY

Become a Behavior Detective and Translate ANGRY


It is up to us as parents to decode what our kids are saying and to help them learn new feelings words and new coping skills to decrease tantrums. Many times you can address the feelings underlying the tantrum and offer behaviors that help calm and improve the situation.

Empathizing with children also can help them calm down.

1. “I see how disappointed you are.”
2. “I know how hard it is for you to wait.”
3. “I know how hurtful it can be when I don’t get you that item, or I didn’t want to play, because we have to shop.”
4. “I understand that you were mad at me for not spending enough time with you.”
5. Children’s feelings get hurt easily so you can always say, ”I am sorry your feelings are hurt,” or “I am sorry that happened to you.”

Add a hug at the beginning and the end if your child is open to it. Don’t push for detailed answers from your child. Most children won’t know how to deeply express their feelings. They simply need to hear your calming voice and your empathetic tone.

Previous posts:

I don’t want to go to school!

Become a behavior detective

For more ideas and “Conversation Starters” try using the book Listen To Me Please.

New book coming soon: Time-In not Time-Out with Dr Lynne Kenney and Wendy Young  and Ava Parnass




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