Often our first instinct is to tell them that everything will be ok, or that they will be fine.
But here’s the thing — when people of any age are upset, they crave understanding much more than reassurance.
So instead of reassuring, try acknowledging what they are feeling and experiencing, like this:
You studied so hard for that test and it’s really disappointing not to get the grade you wanted.
You just can’t stand it when people say things like that about you!
You wish you could just play with your trucks in the sand all day, and it’s a bummer that we have to go home soon.
When you give this a try, you will probably notice that understanding is quite a soothing balm in and of itself, and your child might start to settle down even if the upsetting situation has not actually changed one iota.
The grade is still lower than hoped for, the gossip continues, and the park must still be vacated soon, but after receiving your understanding your child may find it easier to accept these realities.