Phrases to calm an angry child

9 things to say to help calm your angry child

One of the hardest things for children to learn is how to handle big emotions like anger.

To be fair, it can be really hard for us adults too.  I know I don’t always behave all that nicely when I’m feeling really angry or upset.  But at least as we get older we, hopefully, have learnt tools and coping mechanisms to work through these feelings.

Children though don’t have this experience yet.  They really feel these big emotions, often over things that we as parents don’t quite understand, and can find it hard to cope and to work through them.

If you’re struggling to know how to help your child when they really feel angry about something, then here are 9 different things you can try saying to them that might help.

9 things to say to help calm your angry child

1. I can see that you feel angry.

Or frustrated.  Or upset.  Or whatever word best describes the emotion that your child is expressing.

One of the first things to try is to name the emotion for them.  This helps them feel like you understand and are listening to how they’re feeling.  It also starts to make them more aware of what different emotions feel like to them.

 

2. Can you tell me what’s happened?

This lets you get to the root cause of their anger and gives them a chance to talk it through.  When you ask this question, make sure you really take the time to listen.  Don’t interrupt, don’t try to reason with them as they’re telling you what has made them angry.

Just let them tell you the whole story in their own time.

 

3. Everyone feels angry at times and that’s OK

Let your child know that anger is a valid emotion to feel.  It’s OK if they feel angry; we all do at times.

Knowing you understand how they’re feeling can really help your child feel validated in their emotions, and to feel heard by you.

 

4. It’s OK to feel angry but it’s not OK to…

…hit.  Or break things.  Or call people names.

This lets them know that the emotion is valid but that the behaviour they’re showing while they’re angry isn’t acceptable.

 

5. Would you like to try…

… taking some calming breaths.  Or doing a warrior cry.

Offer a suggestion of something your child can do to try and calm themselves down.  But ask them if they’d like to try it, rather than telling them that they have to do it.  Give them the choice and the control over the situation.

Don’t overwhelm them with lots of suggestions either.  Offer one or two ideas and then give them space to think it over.

 

6. I’m here and you’re safe

Our emotions can get all jumbled up at times, and quite often when our children feel angry they also feel scared and unsafe.  Letting them know that you’re there, by their side, and that they’re safe can go a long way to helping them feel calmer.

 

7. I’m going to sit over here

If your child is right in the eye of the storm then let them know that you’ll be sitting close by.  Or just in the other room.  This gives them the space to work through their anger while knowing that you’re still nearby, ready to help them when they’re ready to let you.

 

8. Can I help you?

When your child is angry they may well  be feeling completely out of control, so asking them if they’d like your help gives them back a sense of control.  They can decide if they want a bit of time and space or if they want you to sit with them and help them calm down.

 

9.  I love you

Our children need to be reminded that even when they’re angry we still love them.  We might not like the way they’re talking or acting when they’re angry, but we will always love them.  We need to be that safe place for our children where they know they’re loved no matter what.

 

There’s no one magic phrase that will immediately calm an angry child down.

The main thing for us as parents to remember is that, as much as possible, we need to keep calm ourselves.  If we start to get frustrated too then we won’t get anywhere.  We need to be the calm in the storm.  Easier said than done at times I know, and if you do get angry too then make sure to talk about it afterwards once you’ve both calmed down.

If you can keep calm though, and try a few of the suggestions in this post then hopefully you’ll find the magic words that work best to calm your child down.  The other thing to remember is to trust your instincts.  You know them best, you know if they need to be left alone or if they need you to hold them.

With your help and understanding they can start to learn how to handle anger and all the other big emotions that they might be feeling.

 

What do you find works best for you and your child when they’re angry?

TV and films_ how to watch more for less

TV and films – how to watch more for less

We all want to find ways to get more for our money these days don’t we.  One of the big expenses a lot of us pay for is home entertainment, either with satellite TV services or streaming subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime TV.

There are some ways to save some money on these things though, and ways to find more films and box sets to curl up with in the evenings.

Here are some ideas for ways you can watch more for less.

TV and films_ how to watch more for less

 

Make use of your local library

Most libraries will have a pretty decent selection of DVDs that you can borrow.  From big budget films to boxsets of your favourite TV shows, you’re bound to find something you like there.  And you can normally borrow them for a decent amount of time.

There’s also something a bit nostalgic about doing it this way too, like spending Friday evenings in the local Blockbuster deciding what video to rent!

 

Set up your own DVD library at the office

If you work in a big office then you can get everyone to bring in DVDs they don’t want any more and gather them all on a bookshelf in the office.

Then when you fancy watching something you can grab it from the shelf and just bring it back again when you’re done.  You could get all fancy with this and set up a log book, or just keep it simple and work on the honour system and trust that people won’t just keep the DVDs.

 

Use gift cards

Did you know that you can get gift cards for Netflix?

If you want to save money on your subscription you can ask for gift cards instead of cash for your next birthday.  Or you can see if you can find any being resold online at a reduced price.  Ebay is always worth a look for things like this.

 

Get more out of Netflix with a VPN

If you already have Netflix you might have had the frustrating experience of not being able to watch certain films or TV shows because they’re not available in your country.

There are some shows that won’t be on Netflix UK, for example, that are available in the US.

Luckily there’s a way to get around this and get way more viewing options for your money.  You can use a VPN with Netflix to hide your geographic location.  This is called geo-spoofing, and basically it changes your IP address so it looks like you’re in a different location.

So you can set it up so Netflix thinks you’re in America and lets you watch all the shows and films available over there.

 

Use catch-up services

There are loads of TV programmes available for free using online catch-up services.

BBC iPlayer is really great with a selection of films, box sets of different shows and new episodes of the latest programmes shown a day later.  It’s also really great if you have children because there are loads of CBeebies and CBBC shows on there.

Other options are all4, ITV hub and UKTV play which has shows from Dave, Drama, Really, Yesterday and Home.

 

Make use of Google opinion rewards

If you have an android phone then you can download the Google opinion rewards app and earn money to spend in the Google play store.

You get sent ridiculously quick surveys to answer a few times a week and get paid for them.  It’s normally only a few pennies per survey but it does build up quite quickly.  Then you can spend what you make on anything in the play store.  They have a huge range of films and TV series in there, as well as music and ebooks.

 

Using a combination of these ideas you’ll have almost endless options of things to watch at home, all without having to spend a fortune.

 

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

5 little ways to encourage kindness

5 little ways to encourage kindness

There is a quote I love from Mr Rogers that talks about how, in times of crisis and tragedy, when the news of full of scary stories, we should look for the helpers.

In amongst all the chaos and sadness and fear there will always be helpers.  We’ll always find people bravely doing whatever they can to help and to care for others.

I think this is such a great message to send to our children.  Firstly for them to know that there will always be more good than bad out there.  And secondly for them to learn that they can be the helpers too.  They can grow up to be the ones jumping in, helping others, coming from a place of care and kindness.

It’s so important to me that my children are kind people, and if you feel the same way,  here are 5 things we can do as parents to teach our children about kindness.

5 little ways to encourage kindness

 

1. Talk about differences

It can feel really awkward when our children ask questions about other people who have disabilities or who simply look different to them.  Most of the time though these questions simply come from a genuine sense of curiosity about other people.  And they’re a great chance to start a conversation about our differences and our similarities.

Talking to our children about why people use wheelchairs for example can really help them understand the different experiences and challenges other people might face.  This then helps them be more empathetic to others, as well as being a chance to talk about how we can be kind and treat everyone with respect.

 

2. Be kind to the earth

Being kind goes further than doing nice things for other people. We need to teach our children to be kind to the planet too.  So talk to them as you sort through the recycling.  Explain why you’re doing it and how it benefits the earth.

Look for changes you can make in your own lifestyle to be more eco-conscious and talk these through with your children.  Give them reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottles of water when you go out for the day.  Wrap their sandwiches in reusable waxed wrap, rather than using cling film.  Talk to them about donating their old toys rather than just throwing them out.

 

3. Read them books about kindness

Find stories that feature the theme of kindness and read them to your children as often as possible.

Books are great ways to spark conversations about different topics and you can use them to help your children learn all about kindness and the different ways we can be kind.

It doesn’t have to just be books either. When you’re watching TV with them look out for story-lines about kindness and point out to your children how great it is when characters do something kind and thoughtful, and how happy it makes them and other people.

 

4. Do random acts of kindness with them

These can be really small but are a great way to get our children thinking about doing things for other people.

You can let someone go in front of you in the queue at the supermarket.  Leave some money taped to a vending machine for the next person to use.  Or simply leave notes around reminding people how great they are.

The beauty of these random acts of kindness is that they’re normally done in secret.  So we do them with no expectations of thanks or reward.  The reward is just that good feeling that comes from doing something nice and kind to brighten someone else’s day.

 

5. Set a good example

The most important thing we can do as parents, if we want our children to be kind, is to be kind ourselves.

Be kind to your children.  Let them see you be kind to your partner and to your parents.

When you’re out walking with your children, smile and say ‘hello’ to people you pass.

Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to the bus driver, the cashier at the supermarket, the person who holds a door open for you.

Bake cakes with your children for the school cake sale and take them with you to buy flowers for your neighbour who’s been unwell.

Children will soak up all these little acts of kindness, compassion and caring and learn to go out into the world and act the same way.

 

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

 

 

How to get the kids to help around the house

How to get the kids to help around the house

While housework is happily no longer just the ‘woman’s domain’, trying to get the kids involved with the daily errands is still as big a challenge as ever.

Somewhat understandably, in a battle between the Xbox and the dishwasher, there’s only going to be one winner, but that doesn’t mean the war for chores is completely unwinnable.

Here are five ways you can get the kids involved in helping around the house.

How to get the kids to help around the house

Sell the dream

There’s no harm in a little bit of trickery every now and again, especially when it comes to getting younger children on board with things.

You’ll tend to find that kids respond better when their job is perceived to be of the upmost importance, so why not use a fun title to encourage some enthusiasm. Being ‘Mummy’s Helper’ or ‘Chief Pot Washer’ might seem a trivial offer to you, but it could be what takes your child from reluctantly involved to actively participating.

 

Be age appropriate

There’s no harm in starting your kids early on with little jobs, but there’s no point trying to get a six-year-old to lug around a vacuum. Try and stay age appropriate as best you can to keep the kids engaged.

Younger kids can put away their toys or make their bed, while older children can do the washing up or do the odd job outside. Picking something they can carry out effectively is the key to avoiding frustration. Plus, introducing increased levels of responsibility as they get older is a great way to maintain interest.

 

Do it together

As a parent and a role model to your children, leading by example is important in all walks of life. As far as cleaning goes, you can’t expect buy-in from your children unless they first understand what they are doing and know that you’re helping out too.

Make show to clearly demonstrate to your child how to do a job and what you expect of them, but don’t be too hard on them if they don’t get it quite right. Instead, offer to help and show them where they’re going wrong. For example, if your child is having trouble putting clothes away neatly in a slim wardrobe, teach them how to fold and hang everything correctly so they know better for next time.

Knowing you’re in it with them is the reassurance your child needs to keep going.

 

Create structure

Planning and routine is a great life skill to teach your child and putting together a cleaning schedule sets out clear expectations for your kids, so they know the score as well as you do.

Little and often is almost certainly the best approach to take; maybe one small job each day is enough to get your kids into a healthy rhythm without boring them to sleep.

Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit either. Regularly alternating tasks is key to keeping things as exciting as they can be, you can even get your children to help organise the schedule – a responsibility that will make them feel more important in the process.

 

Remember to say thank you

If you’ve managed to crack the enigma and get your kids helping about the place, remember that positive reinforcement is crucial to a child’s growth and development, not to mention essential to keeping them on board.

We’re always encouraging our kids to remember their ‘Ps & Qs’, so don’t forget them yourself. Be sure to praise them on the job they’ve done and offer positive feedback wherever possible, and your kids will be less likely to see helping with the housework as a completely negative thing.

No one’s saying it’s going to be easy, but with a little creativity, support and positive encouragement, you might just be able to get your kids away from the tv and doing their bit around the house.

 

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

2019’s most popular family-friendly cars

2019’s most popular family-friendly cars

It often feels like having a family car is a must, rather than a luxury. It can make all those errands and shopping trips easier. And a car is a great help for getting the kids to and from school, music practice or sports classes.

If you’re looking for your first family car or need to upgrade to a bigger model, here are some of the most popular options on the market in 2019.

2019’s most popular family-friendly cars

 

Skoda Superb

Once upon a time, Skoda was far from the fashionable car maker it has become. And with its Superb, you literally will find a “superb” family-friendly car. It rides lower to the surface for a smoother drive and has a huge boot to cram in all the family essentials. It’s quiet too – ideal for letting sleeping little ones lie (and tired parent passengers!).

 

Mazda 6

As a family-friendly car, few cars offer the level of safety as the most recent Mazda 6. It boasts a 95% adult occupant safety rating and 91% for child passengers. It makes it one of the class-leaders based on Euro NCAP safety tests. Other features include the wide-opening doors for fitting those tricky car seats and good fuel economy.

 

Ford Focus

One of the most reliable models on this list, the Focus has been a smash for Ford since it first hit the road in 1998. It’s one of the safest cars for those inside, while impressive fuel economy and practical boot space are also advantages. And because it’s such a popular car, you can find a great value used Ford Focus to suit any budget from Peter Vardy.

 

VW Touran

For larger families, the 7-seater VW Touran is well worth looking at. It apparently has more than 40 cubby compartments for food, drink, toys and other child essentials. If you leave just 5 seats up, the boot capacity is enormous, and it has enough Isofix fitting points to get up to five car seats in. More importantly, it’s relatively affordable to insure, tax and fill up at the pump.

 

Nissan Leaf

If you’d like your next car to be kinder on the environment, the Leaf is a popular option for families. It claims to do around 200 miles from a single charge, making it practical for all but the longest road trips. The cost of running is another area in which the Leaf is brilliant. No petrol/diesel engine means no CO2 emissions, which means no tax and makes it great if you live near a low-emission zone.

 

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post

A job help child gain independence

How a job can teach your child to be independent

We do everything for our children. We protect them, provide for them, and support them. As our kids grow into teenagers, they need to find some independence in order to learn to care for themselves. In fact, it’s a natural part of child development. Kids who fail to develop the skills required for independence can struggle later in life. As parents, we can foster independence in positive ways, like encouraging teens to work.

Getting a job is the first step to adulthood, and can benefit teens in a variety of ways.

How a job can teach your child to be independent

 

Responsibility

Jobs help young adults build responsibility. Working teens must follow a tight schedule to balance work with school, extracurricular activities, and their social lives. They have to learn to plan ahead and not double-book themselves. If they do, they will learn a valuable lesson when they can’t live up to their obligations.

Teens develop confidence as they take on greater responsibilities. Independent work and leadership positions increase the level of expectation put on a child. The best jobs for building responsibility allow young adults to work independently, make autonomous decisions, and manage others. Childcare positions, like camp counselling or working for an afterschool care program, are options to give teens leadership experience.

 

Working with Authority

Part of being independent is learning how to work within social structures, like respectful communication with authority figures. When children interact with parents and teachers, there is a relationship aspect involved. Emotional reactions can cloud conflicts and communication. Working with a boss or manager is different. Teenagers must learn to handle authority with respect, but also to advocate for themselves effectively. Early work experiences start to build your teen’s professional reputation, and effective communication skills are key.

Jobs in retail and the food industry are particularly effective at training teens in professional communication. These jobs have complex hierarchies, and it is important to know how to talk to your superiors. Working in service industry jobs like this has the added benefit of the customer relationship. As teens deal with a diverse customer base, they learn to handle difficult situations with diplomacy and maturity. This builds confidence in their communication skills.

 

Real Consequences to Actions

Independence is not just about doing things for yourself, it’s also about taking responsibility for the consequences of your actions. Joining the workforce increases the stakes for most behaviour. When the stakes are higher, the connection to future success becomes clearer. This allows teens to take healthy risks, like asking for a raise or debating an unfair policy, and analyse the cost and benefit associate with the risk. Likewise, when dropping the ball means real consequences, like docked pay or being fired, teens learn to gauge their priorities.

Most workplaces have policies in place that define expectations and consequences. When you take the personal relationship out of the mix, like the one they have with you or a teacher, it is easier to see the clear connection between action and reaction. They can’t blame docked pay on their boss not liking you, especially if the policy is clear. Being able to make informed decisions, based on risk and reward, allows teens to make choices. Independent teens take healthy risks and avoid costly mistakes at work and in life.

 

Forming Personal Values

A natural part of growing up is developing independent thoughts and opinions. Teenagers find their opinions influenced by family, friends, and school experiences. Fitting in with their various communities can make it challenging for teens to form their own values. Working provides a range of experiences outside of social and family circles. Teens can make informed decisions and decide what is important to them.

Working also comes with unique challenges. Employees in all work environments have to face real life moral dilemmas. Even the act of choosing a job, or choosing to leave one, must be based on personal values. Forming these values will help teens choose the right path for their futures. Even teens as young as 15 years old have a variety of work options available to them. Assessing their personal values through experience can help teens make the right decision.

 

Financial Freedom

Money changes everything. Have you ever wondered what you would do if money was no object? For teens, that first paycheck means opening doors. Suddenly, they are able to spend money without permission, afford transportation without relying on others, invest and save for their own futures, and support causes they believe in. They are no longer financially dependent, to an extent, so they can truly develop emotional independence.

Financial freedom comes with incredible responsibility. Teens need access to resources in order to best learn from these early money-making experiences. Be sure to discuss banking, credit, being generous and giving to others, and fiscal responsibility with your teenagers. Help them set financial goals and budget for them. In fact, encouraging them to take on some of their own expenses is a great way to teach them money management skills.

Teenagers crave independence. They need to branch off from their families and learn to care for themselves. If they don’t find healthy ways to build independence, it can lead to challenging and negative behavior. Having a job not only teaches young adults valuable life skills, it fosters their independence and gives them a positive outlet. Work experience prepares teens for life outside of your home emotionally, mentally, and fiscally.

 

Byline:

Ron Stefanski is the founder of JobsForTeensHQ.com and has a passion for helping teenagers find jobs.  He created the website because he feels that teenagers need to focus on their professional passions much earlier in life and aims to teach them how they can do that.  When he’s not working on his website, Ron is a college professor and loves to travel the world.

Energy-saving tips for this spring and summer

Energy-saving tips for this spring and summer

Your home heating usage and energy bills can be significantly reduced at this time of year. Read on for energy-saving tips for the coming months!

Spring and summer have to be the nation’s favourite times of the year. The leaves are beginning to grow on the trees, the flowers are starting to bloom and the weather is finally starting to pick up.  What’s even better is that running your household begins to get much more manageable and those energy bills can be reduced significantly. Bliss.

However, people get stuck in their ways. The heating goes on in the evening, even if it’s not necessarily cold enough. The TVs are on standby all night. There are a number of ways in which we’re still wasting energy, even at the time of year where usage should be at its lowest. Thankfully, these tips should make you think twice about the things you use on a daily basis and help you to save money and energy wherever possible.

Energy-saving tips for this spring and summer

 

Home heating.

It may be a strange one, but heating still gets used, especially in spring where the weather might stay a little chilly. Even if you’re good with your energy consumption, summer will be a great time to reflect on the heating provider you use and change if needed in time for the winter. Saving money and energy when you’re a homeowner should be a priority.

Home heating oil is a good example of a cost-effective way to heat your home. Oil can heat up your rooms faster and is a very sustainable source of energy. Look into this and other types of energy to see which would be more beneficial for you. With home heating oil, there are also companies who offer free oil boiler servicing to customers, should you run into any problems.

 

Insulate your home.

It seems a bit of a waste of time, doesn’t it? Why would you want to insulate your home in some of the warmest times of the year? Well, in fact, insulating your home can also help to keep hot air out and cool air in when the temperatures rise.

It’s really worth inspecting your home and insulating walls and lofts wherever possible to both keep the warm air in when it drops colder and the cool air in when it gets much warmer. Technicians are also able to run an energy audit on your home, identifying areas which may be losing energy.

 

Upgrade your lighting.

We might have put our clocks forward recently which has given us an extra hour of daylight, but it’s still going to get darker inside at some point! Energy saving and LED light bulbs are great for saving money and energy, and, these days, they are much better at reducing the heat that comes with them. It’s a great idea to eventually replace all your light bulbs to energy saving ones. They’ll save you money as they use less energy and the need to replace them is significantly reduced.

 

Turn off your appliances!

Appliances and electricals on standby are one of the worst culprits of energy usage. Instead of leaving them switched on and ready to go, turn them off when not in use, especially when you leave the house. As well as using up energy, they also let out unwanted heat. The simple message for this point? Turn it off!

Save energy by rethinking your home heating and daily routine.

It can be easy to let the little things slide, but if you make a conscious effort to put some household rules into place and to rethink your current home heating situation, you’ll be well on your way to saving energy and money. Do you follow these rules? Which energy-saving tips are you following? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

This post was in collaboration with Rix, home heating oil and fuel providers in the UK. For more information about their services or if you wish to get in contact with a member of their team, visit their website: https://www.rix.co.uk.