Skip to content ↓

Tyndale Primary School

General Parenting Toolkit

These are just a few ideas and suggestions that may help if you are supporting a child who is having a tricky time.

Parenting strategy Why? Examples

Pause button

Safe space to de-escalate

To manage your own feelings and emotions.

Space to decide on approach.

Pause button, having time to calm down, not reacting in the moment.

Safe space – to go to, to be alone.

Reward charts, family rules, consequences

  • To know expectations
  • To agree rules together
  • To know and follow through rewards and consequences

To work through as a family.

Good structure / routine and clear choice of two options

So the child knows expectations.

Uncomplicated decisions.

You can choose between A or B.

Behaviour diary

To record behaviour incidents:

  • When they happened
  • What happened
  • How the situation was calmed
  • What worked/didn’t work
  • Help to identity patterns and trends – e.g. behaviour worse when child bored, hungry tired etc.
  • Useful information if GP referral or paediatrician consultation follows.

To use when thinking about:

  • Sleep patterns
  • Behaviours: triggers, time of day, how child reacted, how parents reacted,
  • What helped the situation to be resolved
  • How long did it take to resolve or settled
  • Record positives and negatives – as it is the negatives we tend to remember more frequently

Notice and name emotions your own and the child’s

Validate emotions

Notice and name the feeling/emotion and then using a different activity to distract them can de-escalate a situation.

Those emotions/feelings can then be spoken about/addressed later if needed.

Using words like “I’ve noticed” with children can be helpful. For example:

 “I’ve noticed you look a bit sad/cross/angry/worried, why don’t we ….. sit and read a book together, finish the puzzle, go and get some fresh air etc."


Learning that maybe the best deal is to wait to get more!

Older children involve them in decisions.

"If I let you play on your iPad before xxx then you will only have 10 minutes but if you wait and play on it afterwards you can have 30 mins."

"If you want a biscuit before tea then you are only allowed one, however, if you wait until after tea then I will let you have two."

Distraction techniques

To distract from poor behaviour – change focus of activity.

This can help diffuse situations quickly and children often forget what they are angry about!

It’s very difficult to be angry when you are laughing or running, or chasing each other, doing favourite activity

Try not to say “NO” Try to say YES with a caveat.

“Yes, you can play on your iPad after we have done xxx."

“Yes, you can have a biscuit after your tea."

Child’s own worry box, worry bear, private notebook

Maybe easier than speaking for the child.

Reducing anxiety in children; provides comfort

Decide to look quietly at these worries together.

Open conversation.

It’s ok to be cross with the behaviour and NOT the child

Recognising that the action is wrong

“Hitting Mummy was an unkind thing to do. Mummy didn’t like that behaviour”. 

Rather than: "You’re a naughty boy."

Counteract any negative thoughts and words

Promote self-esteem, sense of well being

Child says:

"I wish I wasn’t made" – counteract that with...

"Well, Mummy is very pleased that you were made because…."

Friendship bracelets

Supporting the anxious child

E.g.: Make friendship bands
(A nice activity to do together). 

When worried or anxious a child can touch their bracelet and know parent/carer is thinking of them.

Remove stresses or expectations around home learning

Pick the battle not the war!

If in the mood for learning, then try to do something but if not then it’s not worth the battle. 

Learning will happen when you are reading to them, talking to them and doing other activities.

Try to factor 1:1 time into the family routine

To build positive relationships, strengthen relationships, build trust

Encourage the child to have some input into this time

Who can help out?

Elicit the  support of other family members/close friends  who have a good relationship

i.e. Grandparents. Can they set aside some 1:1 time?

Me time! Look after yourself

Make sure you take care of yourselves as parents and have time for you – be that a bubble bath, a walk, having a quiet moment in the garden etc.

Reinforce that love doesn’t need to be earned or deserved - it’s always there!