Managing Disorder of Moods
1. Diffuse the situation. If they are upset about something that is truly irrelevant, take the advice of Cosmo Brown in Singin’ in the Rain: Make ‘em Laugh! This can be through a tickle fight, a funny face, a joke, or whatever you know always makes your kid crack up.
2. Distract them. Sometimes, we all need a break. Change the scenery. If you’ve been playing inside, weather permitting, go outside or if not, have an indoor dance party. If you’ve been playing with trains, switch to Legos. As long as it distracts them, without rewarding bad behavior, it’s a good strategy.
3. Dish up a healthy snack. Sometimes a bad mood might mean low blood sugar or hunger, and kids (and even adults) don’t always communicate well with words when they are hungry. Perhaps even have special treats on hand for extra grumpy days – again, not to reward bad behavior, but to ward off the moody blues.
4. Dreamland is best. Then again, at certain times of day, the extreme moodiness could mean a nap is coming on, or for older children – a quiet time. This is restful for everyone in the house.
5. Determine the pattern. Often there is a pattern to the mood swings. Sometimes it is related to sleepiness or hunger, as mentioned above. If you can figure out the pattern and what they need, you can avoid some problems altogether. Though very likely, the moment you figure it out, they will change it on you. Kids are tricky like that.
I feel like my best self as a mama and homemaker when I take care of my family. My household doesn’t run smoothly all of the time. In fact, lately, it’s run at the lowest possible setting, as we’ve been in a time of transition. Through this time, difficult as change and instability can be, I have worked to keep my own mood stable for them, for my husband, and that has been exhausting. Bless my husband’s heart, when he is home during the day, he lets me take a much-needed nap – all by myself, with no one touching me! This gift allows me to recharge so I can be a little less scary and a lot less moody when everyone else falls back into disorder.
I am so glad that my techniques could be useful to you! While I sometimes think We have some underlying sensory processing issues, I know they are not in the severe, or even moderate, category. Odds are I wouldn’t notice if not for my own education in social work and working in Children’s homes. Sometimes knowledge is power, sometimes it causes problems. I may need you to send me your calm jar ideas…
I can relate to a lot of your methods of coping as my kids go through the same moods plus an extra helping of sensory overload. I find keeping them calm and regulated with quiet activities, less screen time, and having them run, tumble, and climb when they’re keyed up are the best OT for them. And if I can keep calm and let them feed off positive energy instead of negative it’s the best for my whole family. Thank you for sharing your techniques I’m going to add them to my calm jar when chaos reigns supreme in my household. 😊
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