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Coping Techniques for Frustration in Children

By Amy Pearson ; Updated September 26, 2017
Coping skills can diffuse a child's tension during periods of frustration.

Children who learn coping techniques to help deal with frustration will be better prepared to deal with the challenges associated with childhood. Parents can help children develop coping skills to deal with frustration, empowering children to feel confident and in control when in high-stress environments.

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Remaining Calm

Because children are egocentric by nature, they often have trouble remaining logical during periods of frustration. Parents can help children learn to remain calm by modeling appropriate behavior and by responding appropriately when stressed or frustrated. According to an article on the Healthy Children website, parents should avoid punishing children who act out in frustration because children might learn to keep frustrations inside instead of looking for an appropriate outlet. Children might feel calmer after taking a few deep breaths or counting to 10.


Frustrated children might find it difficult to use words to express their feelings. Parents should work to help children identify their emotions and use words to talk it out. Children should know that violence in any form, such as hitting or kicking, isn't acceptable, even when they are frustrated. Giving children words to describe their emotions helps them feel more in control.

Change Their Environment

Children can learn to walk away from a frustrating circumstance for a few minutes to give them time to calm down. Even if they are unable to leave the room, taking a break from a frustrating activity can help diffuse tension. Help children recognize signs of hunger, boredom or tiredness because they can lead to frustration and acting out.

Practice Makes Perfect

Children might become frustrated when they are unable to complete a task such as tying their shoe or buttoning clothes. Tell children that it is normal for new skills to take a long time to develop. Set small goals to help the child recognize progress. For example, children might set a smaller goal of learning to put on their shoes by themselves, later working up to learning to tie them.

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About the Author

Amy Pearson earned dual bachelor's degrees in management and horticulture. She is a licensed elementary teacher for kindergarten through sixth grades. Pearson specializes in flower and vegetable gardening, landscape design, education, early childhood and child development.

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