How to Encourage Your Child to Work Through Frustrations

Tallahassee Families,

Children get frustrated when they cannot do something or feel like they are not being heard. It’s important for parents to be patient and forgiving towards their children and also themselves. It’s normal for children to exhibit behavioral outbursts when frustration hits, how we as parents handle it can make all the difference.

Take the time to connect with your child, listen to his/her frustrations and concerns and try to understand why they are feeling the way they are. Say things like, “I can see you’re feeling upset” or “You look really annoyed”—acknowledging their disposition will help you get to the core of what’s bugging them.

Don’t be so quick to solve their problem, but help them feel understood. Sometimes kids want to figure challenges out on their own, but knowing they are understood by others can mean a lot. Ask your child if they would like some help and if you get the “thumbs up”, then the brainstorming can begin.

Here are a few quick tips to clear the mind and ease the frustration:

  • Take a break and come back to the problem when the emotions have settled down and the mind is clear.
  • Try a snack. Sometimes kids get so into a project they forget to eat until they are hungry and cranky.
  • Background noise can be helpful or distracting depending on what it is. Music often helps keep the mind focused and calm. Noisy surroundings from siblings or others can create the opposite effect.
  • Making a plan or writing out ideas can be very helpful for a child to accomplish their plan. Often we leave too much information swirling in our head which leads to confusion and disaray.

Be patient and taking baby steps when reaching out to a frustrated child. It is challenging to help someone when emotions are high. Your child might need to vent and let their frustration out before they are ready to accept help.

If you are interested in contacting Brad Fantle for speaking engagements you may reach him by email at He is a 7th Degree Black Belt with Tiger Rock Martial Arts, has 25 years experience working with children and teaching self-defense, an ADHD Coach and has a BA in Sports & Fitness from the University of Alabama

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