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Dealing with a 'moody' child can be very exhausting, especially if you are sensitive to the psychological repercussions that might develop and you are worried about where the moodiness will lead. Be assured that it's very rare to have clinically depressed children under preschool age, unless there is a serious issue. What you are probably dealing with is a child who slips into a bad mood and has trouble getting out of it. It's perfectly normal. How you deal with the mood, however, is important.
Here are a few pointers.
- Time: Take some time out to spend with your child. Children who are a bit bit moody, are easily labeled as moody and left to fend for themselves, when in fact a bit of attention (one to one attentio)- would do them them a great amount of good. Ideally, spend half an hour of 100% quality time together alone with no interruptions from other people.
- Happy thoughts: Focus on the happy experiences during the day and the fun things you've done. Build positive memories which will help them to soothe themselves if anxious. Have a chat before bed and go over all the good things that happened: nice food, play in the park, happy visit to a friend's house etc.
- Childcare: Avoid lots of childcare if you can, or leaving your children with lots of different carers. Try to look after the child yourself if you can.
- Clubs and activities: Keep out of school activities to a sensible level so as to avoid tiredness and over stimulation. Yes, subscribe to some fun activities, but keep it to an acceptable level.
- Angry: Keep your own temper, no matter how annoying a situation might be. Stressed parents can effect and upset children. This includes fighting between parents but also getting angry in other situations (while driving for example).
- Food: Try and keep sweet cereals and lots of sugary spreads and jams to a minimum at breakfast and throughout the day. Opt for protein rich foods and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
So, keep it in perspective, keep your cool and keep positive. Good luck!