I find that the Holiday season is the most stressful time of the year for me.


Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting™ helps you encourage your child's social, emotional and intellectual development.
Reliable information on a wide range of topics.
What to expect and how you can help, as your child grows and develops.
Join Us
Help Us Help Kids
Holiday Greeting Cards
Battle of the Brains 2004
Shop for Toys
Thank You Scotia Capital
Giving Vs. Getting
The Holidays and Stress
Kids Futures
Have Your Say
Invest in Kids Recommends
Coping: With babies and children who are intense and irritable

About 10 per cent of children are born with a tendency to be irritable and intense. These children are more sensitive to things like light, sound, activity and touch. As babies, they often cry a lot. When they are older, they seem to get upset easily about a lot of things. These children respond by whining or crying, perhaps by being aggressive, or maybe anxious. They may be easily triggered into intense rage, and they take a long time to calm down.

It's important to understand that this is nobody's fault. It isn't easy to be a parent to an intense child, and it can sometimes make a parent feel angry or like a failure. It is easy for parents and child to get trapped in a vicious cycle. The child acts in a negative way, which makes others treat her negatively. And that convinces her everyone is against her, which leads to a continuation of the behaviours.

A child who is irritable and intense needs a lot of patience and understanding. Here are a few suggestions for helping your child learn to deal with his feelings:

  • Support your child around things that upset him - whether it's crowds, loud noises, or whatever it is that you know bothers your child most.

  • Watch for cues that tell you your child is building towards a blow-up, and try to soothe or distract her before it happens.

  • Encourage your child to talk about how she is feeling - putting feelings into words can help control irritability.

  • Establish regular times during each day for calm, relaxing and fun activities - like listening to soft music or playing quiet games to reduce stress in your child's life.

  • Establish consistent routines, so that your child knows what to expect.

  • And, always praise your child when he copes successfully.

Rate this Page

Related Content