The first rule of caring for your child’s emotional or behaviour struggles is that there are no rules. Parenthood doesn’t come with a manual and there will be a lot of trial and error as you figure out what works best to help your child.

Some tips:

  • Cover the basics. Before you dismiss your child’s outburst as a lack of control, ask yourself if there is a simple explanation for what’s going on- hungry or thirsty? Too hot or cold? Overstimulated? Tired? Sick
  • Encourage communication. Let your child know that they can talk to you about their thoughts, feelings, or difficult situations they’re dealing with. When they do come to you, really listen to what they have to say.
  • Timing is everything. In stressful situations, allow your child some space and address issues later when they have regained control over themselves.
  • Create calm. A child in crisis and out of control cannot rely on reason. Soften your voice and use short, clear directions: “Take a deep breath.” “Tell me what’s going on.”Help them to help themselves. Praise successes and use failures as learning opportunities. Ask questions like, “What can you do the next time you’re in this situation?” or “What made you feel better the last time you felt this way?”Create routines. Routines give a sense of stability to children and teens, especially those who struggle with anxiety.

It can help to talk to someone about how you are feeling you are parenting. At AIM we have psychologists who can listen and support your parenting needs, call 6150 8339 or email

Additional resources:

July School Holiday Group Programs