How to handle your child’s emotional outbursts

Emotional outbursts are normal and we as parents need to create an environment that is safe.


Reflect on HOW YOU SHOW UP when your child’s emotions escalate – do you begin to shout? Or do you tend to shut down and move away from them? Is the way that you are reacting helping or harming the situation?

Reflect on where YOUR PATTERNS OR REACTIONS come from – what did you learn when you were young? Many of us heard the common phrase “Stop crying!” and learned that emotional expression needs to be extinguished.

COUNT TO 10 – these 10 seconds will allow your brain’s stress reaction to calm down.


VALIDATE THEIR EMOTION – “I see you’re upset and I’m here.”

In situations where your child is expressing their emotions in ways that are unsafe, a limit is still needed. It’s possible to PROVIDE BOTH REASSURANCE AND LIMITATION – “It’s ok to be mad but it’s not ok to hit your brother. I’m here to help.”

“Say yes to the feelings, even as you say no to the behavior”- Daniel Siegel