Here’s an article about how to deal with moody toddlers:
How many times a week would you say you find yourself in a bad mood? At least once? Maybe even a few times? I know, for myself, it’s certainly a few times at best. Sometimes it happens over nothing. Maybe I just didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. Sometimes the house is a wreck and no one wants to help me. Occasionally, it’s something as simple as not being able to find what I want for lunch. Then I have a crappy attitude and I’m snappy with most everyone that crosses my path. It usually passes fairly quickly, but it happens. It happens to all of us and it happens to the best of us. What we fail to remember sometimes, is it happens to our kids, too.
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Just the other day my 3 year old was in a BAD mood. She’d been that way since she woke up. She was whiney and irritable and she wouldn’t listen. Nothing would make her happy. She’d already thrown a fit over what I gave her for breakfast and now she refused to help pick her stuffed animals up off the floor. She was just a crab. After a couple of hours of this, I was thoroughly irritated and sent her to her bedroom until she was ready to drop the attitude. I started cleaning up the living room, now in a bad mood myself, and started snapping at my husband for lounging on the couch while he watched me clean.
“What’s got you in a bad mood?” he said.
“I don’t know. I’m just irritated. The house is a mess and Temperance is being whiney this morning…”
And I stopped. I realized that while I knew that Temperance was in a bad mood, I never stopped to ask her why. Because she’s little, and I’m her mom, I just sent her to her room without even trying to acknowledge what was making her that way. She was getting on my nerves.
I left the living room a mess and went to my daughter’s room where she was huffing and sniffling on her bed.
“Temperance, I’m sorry for sending you to your bed without even talking to you first. I’d like to know what’s wrong. What’s put you in such a bad mood this morning?”
It took her a moment to decide she was speaking to me again. I mostly got the stink eye for the first few moments. But, eventually, she said, “I lost my purple monkey this morning. I can’t find it nowhere and I wanted a Nutella sandwich but we ain’t got none.”
For a second, I caught myself thinking, “That’s it?” But, then I realized I’d done the same thing this morning. I didn’t have a good reason to be in a foul mood. I just was. I was slightly irritated over something trivial and I allowed it to sour my mood.
Often times, as parents, we’ll catch ourselves punishing our kids for things that we do ourselves every day. Sometimes, I can’t help it if I’m in a bad mood, and my kid can’t either. Why should she be punished for having a bad day? Do I have to sit in my bed because I’m in a bad mood? (Although, sometimes that’d be more of a treat than a punishment for me. But, still.)
We want our children to be respectful and kind, but we often forget that their emotions are new and raw to them, and they’re subject to the occasional bad day just the same as we are. The difference is, our kids don’t know how to process those bad days and crazy emotions yet. We know to take a breather, have a bath, or even a quiet glass of wine after the kids hit the bed. Our kiddos don’t have that option yet.
So, the next time you catch your kid in a crappy mood, no matter how irritating it is for you, take a second to try and understand them. See if there’s something you can do to make their day better, and give them a chance to air their grievances. Remind them that they can’t be disrespectful, but give them a chance to deal with their own emotions. Right now you’re their biggest fan, their confidant and their shoulder to cry on. And remember, that sometimes a bad day is just a bad day; for anyone. Ride it out and try again tomorrow. Young or old, all anyone can do is their best. Even a bad day only lasts a day.
My name is Andrea Thompson and I’m a home based freelance writer. I’m 23 years old, married to my best friend, and mother to a wonderfully independent and opinionated 3 year old girl and step-mother to a sweet seven year old boy. I live in a tiny, little town in Kentucky, where I spend my free time fishing with my kids.
Writing has always been my passion, which I followed through high school, and for a while in college. Life happened, and once I discovered we were pregnant, I switched directions; opting for the healthcare industry because of the stability.
Finally, years later, I was in a place where I could leave the day job that never truly made me happy, and pursue my dreams. I’ve built, and am still building, my writing career from scratch. But, I’m passionate and I’m good at what I do. And, in the end, I can prove to my daughter that she can do anything she wants with this life.