In Parenting

How to Cope with a Moody Child

Early teenagehood is an extremely emotional time. For this reason, many young ones often find themselves bouncing between emotions quickly, making it difficult to handle some of the  feelings they encounter. However, these normal emotional fluctuations aren’t typically responsible for the mood swings some children go through. As a parent, it can be extremely difficult to manage or understand a moody child. Once you learn how to cope with your moody child and deal with the tantrums, you will be able to restore peace to your household.

What can I cope with my moody child?

Many people assume they know what being moody is all about, but they don’t full grasp it. This lack of understanding can make moody children difficult to handle

1. Give Them Space

Being a teenager or child can be an emotional time. It’s not uncommon for teens to wonder what their purpose in life is or to feel like they have no say in what happens. Giving your child some space to sort through their own emotions and consider what they want in their lives can be a great tool to give your child. Knowing they can be alone when they need it can go a long way toward developing a positive relationship between you and your child. However, it’s important to know how much space to give, because too much isolation can lead to depression and other similar issues.

2. Create a Safe Environment

It’s important for your child to understand that home is the place where it’s okay to express feelings openly with no barriers. Being moody may be your child’s way of letting you know they need help, and you should encourage your child to speak up about how they feel.

3. Help with Methods of Expression

If your child is throwing a tantrum, it’s important to teach him other ways to express his feelings. In many cases, being moody or having tantrums is due to difficulty expressing the way they feel. If you notice your child is sulking or acting overly moody, you can reach out to your child and ask him or her to tell you what is wrong. In addition, you can offer other methods of expression, such as drawing a picture or even writing a short story. Tap into what your child enjoys doing and help him or her learn how to use it for emotional expression.

4. Divert their Attention

Sometimes simple distraction techniques can go a long way toward improving your child’s mood and diverting temper tantrums. If you know your child will be in a situation in which he or she struggles, come prepared. Bring along an activity or a snack they enjoy. To distract him from his moodiness triggers, bring out the snack or activity before the troubles begin. Bringing a child down from a tantrum is much more difficult than preventing it in the first place.

5. Set Expectations

Many meltdowns occur because children aren’t prepared for a given situation. For this reason, it’s important to set expectations and make sure your child knows just what you expect. It’s also useful to make sure children understand their responsibilities. When children know what they should expect in terms of homework duties, chores and even family activities, they will be less likely to feel stressed about the situation and will be less likely to throw a tantrum as a result.

6. Set Aside Time to Complain

One of the biggest contributors to moody behavior is not having an outlet for their complaints. If you quickly shoot down any dissent from your child, it will likely build up and eventually overflow into bad behavior. Instead, set aside a time when your child is allowed to complain and express dissatisfaction with how things are done. While this expression may not change your rules, it gives your child the freedom to express himself in more productive ways and lets off a little steam. This can go a long way toward diverting future moodiness.

7. Keep Your Cool

It’s incredibly easy to blow your top when your child is difficult to deal with. Unfortunately, when you are unable to remain in control of your own emotions, you are showing your child it’s okay to blow up when a situation is difficult to handle. Instead, it’s important to remain calm and collected, talking to your child and helping him find new ways to express his frustration or to help him feel happier again. Your child learns from your behaviors so it’s critical that you display the same behaviors you expect from your child.

8. Work Together

Unfortunately, in situations where parents are dealing with moody children, it’s common for parents to be on separate pages regarding how to handle the issues. In most cases, one parent works hard toward curbing the behavior and teaching the child the necessary coping skills to reduce the level of moodiness, while the other parent simply gives in to the child to prevent the tantrums in the first place. Giving in is one of the worst things you can do for a child. It leads to feelings of entitlement and doesn’t fix the root cause of the problem.

To ensure you are both on the same page, it’s important to be open and honest with each other. Set aside time to talk about the best way to handle things when your child isn’t around to hear the conversation. Having this discussion around the child is counterproductive and will make the child feel like a problem. When you come up with a concrete plan together, you will be able to handle whatever comes your way more effectively and work together toward the same end goal: giving your child a healthy start in life.

Moodiness Is Part of Growing Up

Sometimes being moody is just a normal part of growing up. In these situations, all you can do is have discussions with your children about their feelings and let them know you’ve been there. You may want to provide examples of times when you struggled growing up so he or she can relate to you, which can help them open up more. The goal is to make sure your child understands that it’s perfectly normal to be moody and that it will pass with time. Knowing they are not alone will help them overcome their moodiness and find more productive ways to deal with mood swings.

As a child, growing up can be an emotional time. Their brains are still developing, and they’re still learning about social relationships. This can lead to a lot of up and down feelings your child can’t control and may not know how to handle. It’s your job as a parent to help your child get through this period of his or her life and make their way to the other side, too.

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