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6 Simple Steps to Handle Your Child's Mood Swings

04/30/2015 06:04 pm ET | Updated Jun 30, 2015
Visual Ideas/Nora Pelaez via Getty Images

We all have moments when our kids are moody and cranky and we are wondering, "Why is this happening?" Are we bad parents because we can't handle it? Why can't we fix this? I am here to tell you not to worry anymore. Their behavior is completely normal and all kids have mood swings. Every parent just has to remember our children have a lot on their plate every single day: hours of homework, difficult exams, all the friendship dramas and lot more.

Mood swings are a normal characteristic of development at certain stages, such as during toddlers and teenager years, and there is no ultimate cure for it. After all, they are still kids and as a result, they may not have the emotional language to express and work through what they are experiencing.

Luckily, there are tips parents can use to help their kids regulate all of those emotions. Follow these simple steps and you will be able to fight mood swings.

1. Be understanding.
The most important rule for parents is to be understanding of where our children's emotions and what is behind their behavior. Don't be mad because of their mood swings and show them some support. Ask them questions about what they are going through, however do not push if they do not want to share their problems with you. Just let them know you are recognizing their feelings.

Also, instead of pushing them, say something like, "It sounds as if you are not in the mood to talk at the moment. I understand that completely, but I am here whenever you need me." Later, when they are more relaxed, such as when you are playing together or when you are watching TV, ask if something happened, he wants to talk about. They will more likely be ready to talk if you do not push them and it is easier for them to bring up some hard topics when they are involved in another activity.

2. Stick to your boundaries.
Even though you need to be understanding, you also need to stick to your boundaries. Our children will often try to test us to see how far they can go. Our response will show them how far we will allow them to go. You need to make clear what kind of behaviors you going to tolerate and stick to your decisions.

3. Don't be critical and stay calm.
When your kids are having a mood swing, you will feel the urge to point out that they are overreacting and that the world is not going to end. Resist that urge, because if you criticize them, you will just push them further away from you. Also, if you get angry, it could escalate into a power struggle. So try to stay calm.

4. Don't despair.
If your child's moods and aggression sometimes makes you despair, just remember that you are not alone. Talk to other parents and share your experiences. You will feel much better when you see that there are other parents going through the same thing.

5. Play with your children.
When they are in a bad mood, suggest they play a fun game. That will help them relax and calm down. Also, playing together can help you bond with your children.

6. Create a happy place.
Create a happy place for your children. A place where they can go when they are feeling upset. It can be a simple chair in their room where they can read their favourite books, or maybe listen to some music. Their happy place will easily make them calm when they are feeling moody.

If you teach your children how to cope with their emotions now, that will help them for the rest of their life.

Remember these simple steps and you will have a good time with your child despite the mood swings. Also, always have one thing in your mind: you are the person your children need the most, even if they are not showing that!

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