Read about mood swings in toddlers, intervention tips for mood disorders in kids and food and mood stability in children.
Mood Swings in Toddlers
Mood swings in toddlers can rally frighten some parents. At one moment, they are happy, making pleasant talks to everybody around them and playing and chuckling but come another moment, and they transform into little devils and start screaming, flailing their arms angrily and throwing toys. The biggest worry is whether the child has some serious emotional problems or is this just a passing phase. Though, some degree of mood swings is common in toddlers and they outgrow it eventually, but it is always best to address the problem as early as possible, so that the child with a real problem may get intervention in time:
- A high protein, high fiber, healthy-carb breakfast is a must for a growing child to keep the blood sugar stable, such as a bowl of oatmeal topped with yogurt and fruit.
- Families having history of mood disorders such as anxiety or depression should seek professional counseling even for young children so that they may get help in time, if needed.
- Fish out the special talents of the child such as art, sports or music, in which she gets involved and is good at. This will make her feel overall satisfaction with herself and diminish mood swings.
- If a child is unhappy, address it first and perhaps the problem of mood swings will automatically get solved.
- If the mood swings are not interfering with growth and development, then they are not usually an issue to worry about but if they are on rise, you may need to take the child to a trained professional.
- Keep a mood journal for the child and identify the triggers that set off the mood swings. Tiredness, anger, boredom, craving attention, frustration, family and school problems may be some of the triggers. This will help you to offer the best intervention to solve the root of the problem and help her steady her moods.
- Lack of sleep or exercise can be another factor for mood swings. Make sure that child gets quality sleep and vigorous exercise that increase the level of mood-mellowing hormones.
- Not eating for a few hours may make the blood sugar level ebb and mood swings may start. So, give mini-meals or snacks to child from time-to-time that are high in fiber, protein and healthy fats, such as fruits, yogurt, peanut butter, homemade whole-grain cookies and muffins.
- Note the frequency and severity of mood swings too.
- Note whether the child is very sensitive and news and events happening to others leave greater impression on her than other children.
- Sometimes poor nutrition may also cause biochemical imbalances that manifests as mood swings. This is known as Nutritional Deficit Disorder. Thus, avoid junk food and eliminate ‘trouble’ foods from child’s diet such as sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages and snacks.
- Stable insulin levels and blood sugar are needed for stable moods. Foods with high fructose, corn syrup and hydrogenated oils can help.