Do you ever “lose it” over something really small and insignificant? Of course, we all do. But many times, when we have an big reaction to a small problem, it’s a sign that something else is bugging us. Logically, we understand, but in the moment the emotion just spills out.

For kids, this might also be the case. But frequently, it’s because they don’t have a good way of distinguishing between things that warrant big emotions and things that should only cause small emotions.

Next time your child is in the throes of frustration, remember this simple prompt: “What can we do to solve the problem?”

For example, let’s say your child skills a glass of milk—Panic ensues. Milk is on the table, on the floor, and on his shorts!

You: “Uh oh! That’s no big deal. Spilling milk is a little deal. What can we do to solve the problem?”

This is good time to hand child some paper towels and assist with the clean up.

When this is complete, validate!

You: “See, you solved the problem. Spilled milk is a little deal. All you have to do is clean it up.”

Teaching your child to have perspective and solve a problem takes lots of practice and patience. So next time instead of rushing to solve a problem for your child, first ask how he would solve it and help solve it together.

For more practice, use the worksheet below   to help your child decide which “problems” belong in the “Big” category and which problems belong in the “Small” category.

Download Worksheet