Is your child a grumpy smurf? Just like adults, children have good moods and bad moods. The cause of a negative attitude can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint, especially if your child refuses to tell you what’s wrong. The good news is that you can help put a smile back on your child’s face with a few simple “mood banishing” hacks. Read on!
Understanding your child’s emotions
When a child doesn’t know how to deal with their emotions appropriately, moodiness can swiftly escalate into defiance, disrespect, and emotional outbursts. If not appropriately addressed, this can lead to more serious issues, such as academic difficulties, difficulty forming relationships with friends and classmates, and poor mental health.
Many different things can contribute to a child’s moodiness. It might result from a young child’s inability to speak or express themselves appropriately, resulting in irritation and tantrums. Hormones, academic and peer pressure, and figuring out where they fit in society can all contribute to a rollercoaster of emotions and mood swings during adolescence.
Learning to manage moodiness
As children mature, they develop the necessary coping strategies and communication skills to express themselves better, but this can take time and is a learned skill. Allowing kids to differentiate between feelings and behaviour is key to helping them see that they are in control of their actions when they feel moody, frustrated or angry.
Children need to understand and learn that it is normal to feel gloomy at times, but it’s not okay to use aggressive behaviour, such as hitting or punching. Regularly talking about feelings will help your child recognise and understand them better, enabling them to communicate and express their feelings more constructively.
Be a good role model
Modelling appropriate moody coping skills and helping your child identify strategies to cope with moodiness can help them learn to deal with their feelings more effectively. If a child sees you in a bad mood, they will likely be in a bad mood. How you respond to your child’s behaviour can make a big difference. Arguing back or shouting at them sends your child mixed messages about dealing with their feelings appropriately.
Acknowledging that your child is having a bad day and explaining that there are more appropriate ways to deal with their feelings reinforces that you care and understand, and it helps them learn to express themselves in constructive ways.
Give your child some space
Coping strategies can vary depending on what works for your child. This may include letting your child play alone for a while, using words instead of aggression to explain why they are upset, listening to soothing music, or carrying out a different activity that makes them happy.
When To Seek Help
Even the most attentive and patient parents can find moody behaviour hard to manage. If you are concerned or find it challenging to deal with your child’s moodiness, you should speak to your child’s pediatrician or doctor. Suppose your child exhibits signs of prolonged moodiness or sadness and has lost interest in activities they previously enjoyed. It could indicate a more serious matter, such as depression, which will require special medical care.