Learning to decode and understand your child’s moods is a vital part of being a mom or dad. A bad day at school, or an incident at the playground can leave your child feeling stressed out and quite unhappy. Unlike adults, who can cope with the troubles of life much more easily and control their emotions, children find it more difficult coping with unhappy feelings. A young child who has had a tough day at school may begin to lash out at those around them, or just remain sulky in a corner.

During these trialing time it helps to make the extra effort to figure out what exactly is troubling your child. There could be a variety of reasons, but talking to your child is the best way to find out. Have you and your child sit in a room together, alone, and ask them what is bothering them. It helps to be at the same level as them, not towering over. If your child refuses to speak on the subject put your analytical skills to good use. Have there been any traumatic occurrences in your child’s life as of lately? Ex) death in the family, divorce, bullying

If not, then quite possibly it could be the result of a simple bad day. Maybe your daughter lost her favorite princess tiara, or your son didn’t get to play his favorite position in baseball that day. Sympathize with your child and lend a listening ear. The greatest role you can play as a parent is the sympathetic listener who is willing to offer up some advice.

As difficult as a concept as it may be for your child to grasp, explain to them that this one incident is not the end of the world. Help them to manage their feelings by letting them vent through healthy and safe ways. Being a parent is all part of a larger picture, one where your child’s happiness is the centerfold of your own. Learn your child’s changing moods and what each one indicates and you will be able to better help them cope through any stressful life situations that may bring them down.