How to Best Help Your Irritable, Moody Child


Living with a child who is frequently irritable or moody is never fun. Their mood can swing from happily playing to tantrumming on the floor in a heartbeat. You probably do not even see it coming and are frequently surprised by the sudden change in her mood. If you're like most parents in this situation, you find yourself being cautious around your child. Cautious that you do not accidently ignite your child into another meltdown. You become fearful of getting her upset by condemning her the ice cream she wants or talking with her in the wrong tone of voice.

Being cautious as a parent is never good for you, your child, or your family. When you lose your confidence as a parent, your child feels this, and he feels insecure and a loss of connection with you.

Probably the biggest challenge you face with your child's mood swings is how to respond. You wonder what he needs and how you should respond to best help him. If you knew how to effectively help him feel happy again, you'd feel more confident and could more easily keep your cool with clarity and certainty whenever those upsets begin.

Instead of responding with confidence, clarity, and effectiveness, you may find yourself reacting with your own irritability, feeling angry and raising your voice. As you well know, this only escalates the problem; and you and your child both feel hurt and bruised by your interaction.

Here are 4 get-yourself-in-action tips to dramatically reduce or even eliminate your challenges with your child's moodiness and emotional reactivity.

Tip # 1 Ask yourself what you can do to improve your response in the situation . Thinking something is wrong with your child or that you somehow need to 'fix' her is the last option to consider. Most likely, by modifying your own perspective and approach, the difficulty can be resolved with a minimum of effort and without resorting to medical evaluations and prescription drugs.

Tip # 2 Remember that children are naturally more emotionally expressive than most adults are . This is a good thing and not something to resist or try to change in your child.

By the time they reach adulthood, most parents have learned to suppress their emotions, especially the ones they learned were unacceptable as a child. When you and your child are cut off from your own emotions, you limit your ability to connect with yourself and what you want and need for you.

Tip # 3 Put yourself in his shoes. See the situation from your child's perspective.

Tip # 4 Set boundaries that create a supportive structure for you and your child. Whenever you feel impatient with your child, it's because you're not taking action that gets results. The only way to accomplish this is by changing your own behavior.

How You Respond to Your Child's Moodiness and Irritability Makes a Huge Difference

If you've struggled with not understanding your child's emotional up and downs, then following through on these powerful strategies will make a big difference for everyone in your family. By following these simple guidelines, you can quickly turn your moody, irritable child into a happy, cooperative, joyous child, one you will cherish and enjoy every single day.

Copyright 2010 Connie Allen