Parenting expert's two-second trick for calming down an angry child

Parenting expert's two-second trick for calming down an angry child

REVEALED: Parenting expert’s simple two-second trick for calming down an angry child – but not everyone is on board

  • A parenting expert shared her simple two-second trick for calming kids down
  • Australian parenting educator Maggie Dent said you need to distract children
  • If they are angry, she recommends asking a question to take their mind off it 
  • While many were fans of it, others said it doesn’t help kids process emotions

A leading parenting expert has shared her simple two-second trick for calming down an angry child, and she promises it will work every time.

Australian parenting educator and author Maggie Dent said every time your toddler or child is having a tantrum, the best thing to do is ask them a question.

The reason why this works is because it distracts them and gets them to ‘focus on you rather than what is making them angry’.

A leading parenting expert has shared her simple two-second trick for calming down an angry child, and she promises it will work every time (expert Maggie Dent pictured)

Good examples of questions include: ‘Was that daddy’s car?’, ‘Do you want a drink?’ and ‘Should we go and play outside?’ 

The parenting expert said questions like these often work to distract them from what they were worried about, and help them move on to something different and more exciting.

When the trick was shared on Facebook, it wasn’t long before dozens of parents were quick to praise it.

‘Yes, it’s good to try and change the subject and train of thought to something more familiar!’ one mum posted.

‘This is great,’ another added.

Australian parenting educator and author Maggie Dent said every time your toddler or child is having a tantrum, the best thing to do is ask them a question (stock image)

Parenting expert and educator Sharon Witt also told FEMAIL that while it can feel difficult to help a child through a tantrum, distraction can be a useful technique.

‘Sometimes, when our children are in the midst of a tantrum, it can be very difficult for them to control their emotions, much less, regulate their thoughts,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.

‘This is when parents can step in and give a simple, calm distraction that can provide a short circuit distraction – giving our young people the change to stop, and calm themselves.’   

But not every parent was on board with the idea, with some saying this is akin to ‘gaslighting’ children.

‘Let them feel an emotion and process it,’ one mum said.

‘Or you could acknowledge that anger and sadness are valid emotions and not something to be scared of,’ another added. 

Parenting expert and educator Sharon Witt (pictured) also told FEMAIL that while it can feel difficult to help a child through a tantrum, distraction can be a useful technique

According to Australian parenting website Raising Children, distraction is a ‘simple strategy that’s good for situations when behaviour might be a problem’.

‘Pointing out something interesting, starting a simple game or pulling funny faces is a great way to distract them when they are getting cranky, have been sitting still for a long time or are having trouble taking turns or sharing with others,’ the website reads.

Good distraction techniques include giving children something else to do, whether it’s a new toy or game or a change of scenery in a different room.

You could also change the activity or start singing a song to help to distract them, Raising Children advises.

However, their experts added that there are a few situations where distraction won’t work.

This is typically when your child has hurt someone or is too upset to be calmed down. 

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