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Cheer Up!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Family , Tags: cheer up, child, moody, toddler, unhappy

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What do you do when your little one seems a bit down in the dumps?  Saying, 'Cheer up', 'Stop being so moody', etc. certainly doesn't help.  With little ones, its best to do something to lift the mood.  Here are a few tips for getting little ones to perk up!  You'll probably find you all end up having fun!

Make an observation and give out a bit of praise. Get them to do a picture and say how great it is. Praise them for something good they have done.  It can work wonders.

Wash away the bad mood - if its sunny go outside and using a hose or a spray or a watering can, wash away the moodiness.  Have a giggle while you wash and use some bubbles too!

Simply ask what's wrong - if they can tell you try and get them to explain why they seem unhappy.  See if it's something you can help with.

Go for a run around the park or garden - Scoop your child up, put on some trainers and head off for a windy walk and a run in the park.  Or go out in the garden for a wild run around, some chasing, a bit of high spirited screaming and giggling.  It will do you all the world of good!

Think of things - ... that you love, that you like doing, that you like playing.  Act them out, have a laugh as you try and enjoy yourselves.  You will see the mood lifting!

Put on some music - dance your troubles away!  Have a boogie and have some fun!

Are Happy Children are Born that Way?

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health , Tags: happiness, happy, moody, nature, nurture, personality, unhappy

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Could it be that some children born happy while others not?  Some children certainly seem happier than others even if they come from the same family, so can it be that some children are going to be happy from day one and others will always be moodier or more inclined to be unhappy?

If they fall over, some children laugh and others burst into floods of tears.  When they wake up, some laugh at the sunny morning and jump out of bed.  Others turn over in a moody shrug.  If they don't get their own way some get stroppy and remain miserable for hours.  Others just move on to the next activity and forget about it.  Why is this?

Some scientists would say that yes, some children do have a tendency to be happier than other children.  However, it cannot be proved beyond doubt.  Wherever your child is on the happy/sad spectrum, the important thing is to be aware of how they might respond in certain situations and react accordingly.

Child psychologist Dr. Lise Eliot, Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School, maintains that happiness is a state of mind, a mood, rather than an inborn trait.  However, certain aspects of a baby's temperament (shy or bold for example) will play a role in determining how happy they are.  And, it is this emotional information that is embedded in the brain.

This doesn't mean to say that if your little one is scared of going to pre-school, or nervous of new people that they will be unhappy later in life.  Not at all.  In fact nature and nurture play an equally important role in the first years of a child's life.  Just because a baby's temperament (confident or reserved) may be determined by nature, it doesn't mean it's permanent.  Nurture plays a very important role too and those early traits can be modified and honed down with careful parenting.  The end result is personality... a blend of the two.

Personality is controlled by the frontal lobe of the brain.  We feel good things in the left frontal cortex and bad things in the right, according to scientists. It is said that people with happier dispositions have more activity in their left frontal lobe.

So, spot any signs of unhappy tendencies and deal with them.  Support a nervous child; try to tame a bold child; nurture a nervous child and try to guide them to be rounded, happy and creative individuals.

How to Cope with Moody Children

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Family , Tags: angry, anxiety, children, happy, moody, stress

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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!

Don't Worry - Be Happy!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health , Tags: moody, sadness, unhappy

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Everyone gets sad now and then and that goes for our children too.  The worst thing you can do is say to them, 'Be happy!', 'Stop being miserable!', 'Smile, please!' because we all know how irritating that can be as a grown up, and it's just the same if you are a child.

So, here are a few tips to lift a child's mood if they are a bit low.  It may seem straighforward, but these few ideas are positive and easy to do.

1. Give some love! Give your child lots of hugs and kisses to show them they are loved.  Sometimes that's all it takes!  Try not to smother them, but make it clear that they are special and loved by you.

2. Choose a game to play. Ask your little one to decide on which game to play.  It may be a board game or a make-believe game of fairies or monsters!  This will get them thinking about other things and may take their mind off what's making them sad.

3. Do something creative.  Make a model, or do a craft together.  Get messy with paints, or make a pasta necklace.  Try doing something that you can work on together and give lots of praise!

4. Get busy in the kitchen and make something tasty to eat!  Try making cookies or fairy cakes and decorate them with icing and chocolate drops.  Lots of fun and great to eat!

5. Go outside and have a run around.  Grab some bubbles or a ball and let off some steam in the garden or park.  Go crazy together with some fun games and lots of laughter.

6. Talk. If you are sad about the same thing, then try having a chat about it.  Share your sadness in a little way, may help you both!  They will feel less isolated and perhaps so will you.

7. Reassure them. Let them know it's okay to feel a bit sad sometimes.  Its natural and it happens to us all.  Try and work out what's bothering your child and it may be something so tiny and easy to solve.

Whatever the matter, take care to be gentle and calm.  What seems like nothing to us, can be a big deal to a child.


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