How can I help my son control his emotions?

My 3 yr old literally cries over EVERY. SINGLE. LITTLE. THING! It’s starting to drive me insane! How can I teach him other ways to respond? I’ve told him 30 thousand times to just ask for help; I’ve talked about how if he would verbalize his needs/wants, I can help, there’s no need to cry. I’ve started putting him in his room until he stops crying and ready to talk, not angrily or anything; I just tell him he can come out when he’s done crying and walk away, leaving the door open. I don’t think that has been helping, but I don’t know how else I can teach him other responses to his frustration. Advice?


Try not to react so much to it. It’s your reaction that he is feeding into.


It’s really hard for them to control their emotions when they’re learning the world and themselves. Just let him know you’re there and that you understand that he’s upset.
Example, when we leave the play ground my daughter will cry. Instead of telling her “you played enough it’s time to go home. stop crying” I’ll say, “I understand why you’re upset! You had so much fun. What was your favorite part?
Now let’s go home and start dinner. Would you like to help? What do you think we should make?”
It’s important to identify their feelings and talking them through it and validating their feelings as well. Us adults aren’t perfect nor happy 24/7, we can’t expect that from kids either.


My son is the same. Honestly if you can watch Supernanny episodes it has helped me a lot. She says to get on their level and to pay no attention to tantrums so you are doing the right thing putting him in his room to cool off. My son just recently has been recognizing his actions and will calm down and apologize. It’s the age, they will grow out of it but I seriously posted before on FB and every mom was like “ignore the tantrums”


He’s 3. Give him a cuddle.


Try having them take three deep breaths shaking it off and then getting down to his level and asking him to help u understand what he needs


There are children’s books about emotions ect…Also he is 3,his emotions are overwhelming and he doesn’t really understand just yet…be patient and keep trying to reassure him…

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My son used to do this and he has been talking since 9 months old. I have him count to 5 with me and take a deep breath. I tell him to use his words and tell me what is wrong or what he needs. If you stay calm and calm him down it will help. I have learned when I get frustrated it makes him more frustrated and harder for us both.

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Focus on connection. By leaving him in his room to cry you see it as giving him a moment to cry over something so frivolous, but he sees it as you abandoning him during a traumatic experience. It’s going to cause him anxiety at a subconscious level at least, which will make him want to act out more for your attention. Like others have said, give him a hug, validate his feelings and keep asking questions to help him find the words to express himself. His 3 year old brain is incapable of controlling his emotions very well, but it’ll come eventually.


Read “The Whole-Brain Child” helps SO much with understanding what they are thinking/feeling and how to react & help them through their feelings!


He is 3. Thats kinda how they roll. It is an endless repetition of things.


I always told mine “use your words baby, I don’t understand” . He’s learning to process all his emotions.

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Hug them until they calm down. Let them vent their emotions. Gently correct or guide with back rubs and snuggles. They bounce back, have been informed, and also know you’re always in their corner.


Watch daniel tiger my kids love it and shows healthy ways to deal with emotions


Hes 3 not 10. Hes going to cry over things dont over think it… Sending him to his room for something that he hasnt done wrong is going to hurt him more and confuse him. Remember hes 3


Sometimes they want/need attention, sometimes hungry sometimes tired. It’s all about anticipating their needs and communication if possible. At that age, sometimes they want to be babied still.

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Children only learn empathy from us .When one of mine was at that age I would explain the difference in Happy Sad and angry.Would try to distract by trying to get him interested in something quick.Learn to answer quick.Than I would use A my Mom trick make him show me what was broke.Surchase all on all over him would distract.Whats broke .Than when that didn’t work that’s when I sent to pergertory.Like there was nothing in his room.Making him learn to walk there on his own broke the screaming right away.

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Give him hugs when he’s truly upset, distract when possible and tell him one of his stuffed animals has been assigned to be his protection. That he should hug it when he’s upset and the teddy (or whatever) will be always be there for him

My son is 2. If he is frustrated and crying with misunderstanding. He gets hugs and a snuggle, followed with redirection to his favorite kitty or his favorite tractor til he calms down. After that I try to figure out what caused the upset to begin with. If its a tantrum over something he can’t have or does wrong I let him have his fit… Best of luck.

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Lol just hang on. My child skipped terrible two’s. But three’s? Three year olds and their emotions are wildddd.


He’s 3… Hold him, hug him, ask him to show you what’s wrong & then YOU tell him what those words are.
He does not know what emotions are & he sure shouldn’t be expected to know how to control them…that’s why you are the Parent, to teach him these things…& You don’t teach them by sticking them in their room alone.

Point blank, interact with your child, all day every day, because that’s what parents are supposed to do. That’s how children learn. & When they aren’t being taught age appropriate things, they act out. That’s children. Of all ages.

Hun, he’s three. Thier feelings are still big too compared to thier vocabulary. They also still don’t have the best impulse control, meaning that they dont have the impulse control to stop themselves from crying rather than talking first.

I typically handle it in several “stages”
First. Preventative. Make sure that hes not so hungry or thirsty that he’s overwhelmed with communicating those needs. If it happens in the store because he wants a toy then avoid the toy aisle.
Second, Offer a alternative to the thing you’re saying no to. “No we can’t play with the curtains but why dont we make a fort with sheets” “no you cant have those chips but you can have an apple banana ect”

Third. Try to give him compassion and patience. Sometimes even when my 3 year old is furious hes not getting his way…a hug or snuggles works wonders.

Fourth. If none of that works then just ignore the crying. You dont have to send him to his room. Simply say “I cant understand you while you’re crying” do whatever you were doing until he calms down then go and give him a hug and talk to him.


He could have anxiety. I wish I had realized this earlier, rather than later in my own son.

Try to make him do a breathing exercise when he gets upset, and counting to 10 (when he learns to count)

He may also just need a brain break from time to time where he can just fidget with some kind of distracting toy.

Also, very important… Give him notice before you are going to change his activity or request him to do something. Example; “Hey John, we are going to clean up our toys in 5 minutes !!” Or “John, we have to get dressed in 3 more minutes”

I really recommend “How to talk so little kids will listen” by Joanna Faber and Julie King

It’s helped me and my son so much.

3 years old is a emotional age for them! We have a 3 year old boy who struggles with his emotions. ( definitely when he thinks he is not being heard) he will scream and cry. We are in the process of teaching him to use"his words" tell mommy why you’re upset? If that don’t work when he is really upset trying breathing exercises! There’s tons and find what works for him. With our little guy he has to take a deep breath like 3 times and it helps calms him down for the most part. Then he will use his words and then we can figure out the root of the problem. Good luck!! :slight_smile:

Use your words to give him knowledge. ‘I know you feel sad/angry when mummy says no more tv, its okay to feel sad/angry sometimes. We can watch tv after you have a nap’.

Then give him cuddles and find something to distract him, maybe sit down and read a book or play outside in the back yard.

I did exactly what you did and it helped him think and calm down on his own and then hes calm enough to talk about it and be very attentive to his feelings when he is talking. Now he does not cry for every little thing. Sometimes giving space and alone time for him to calm down is healthy

My son is the same…I taught him to breathe. I pick him up or hold his shoulders and say “deep breath, (have him do it a couple times), shake it off (then we shake our bodies), wipe your eyes, and I tell him listening ears (hold our ears)”…then ask what he needs… it really helps him refocus so he can tell me whats wrong. He’s even started doing it on his own when he gets frustrated.

The only thing that works for my ADHD 7 year old is heart beat hugs until he stops crying. Then we talk about what big feelings cause it and how to try to handle it in the future