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Helping Kids Out Of A Bad Mood

Updated on October 28, 2015

Raise The Vibration

There are those days when your child is in such a bad mood, you have to find a way to help them. Whether it is because their bad mood is affecting everyone else around them, including you, or it breaks your heart to see them feeling this way, you are desperate to find something that will work.

I developed the 'Raise The Vibration' technique to solve exactly this problem. My oldest son gets into impossible moods, and I had to find something that would work every time to get him through it. With a little bit of practice, you will be able to handle the worst moods with grace and ease.

How Do I 'Raise The Vibration'?

The "raise the vibration" approach is great for helping children through laziness, fighting, and depression for starters. And it is SO simple.

When the tension level starts to raise in my house, I simply say, "That's enough. Take a breath and name something you love." Or two things you love, or five, or ten... Base how many things on how responsive your child is. I always participate in this, and lead by example, naming things that I love also. Some days this turns into a half hour of family time as we all strive to think of all the things we love!

By the time they have finished, their vibration has changed, and a reasonable solution can be reached.

A Bad Mood on a Good Day

I love these days! If only it were always this simple! These are the days that they just need to be reminded that they are loved.

Mom: Name something you love.

Child: I don't love anything!

Mom: Well, I love you.

Child: I love you too.

Girl Frown Stare May 13 20101—stevendepolo (
Girl Frown Stare May 13 20101—stevendepolo ( | Source

It Didn't Work

Some days they are so resistant to the idea that they will respond back that they don't love anything. Chin up, you aren't defeated.

Tell them something that you love, or that you both love. Mention something that you know that they love, whether it is an object, a pet, or an activity. Or, if they are old enough, you can try dramatic sarcasm to turn the tide. Remember that the neural connections in the brain to understand sarcasm do not start to form until they are around the age of seven. Do not use sarcasm on young children. It is just hurtful to do so, and will drive them further into a bad mood and away from you.

Below are some real life examples of different days with my oldest son when he was seven year old. I have been using these techniques with him sucessfully for almost 2 years. And they work on everyone else too!

A Bad Mood on a Not So Good Day

Some days are a little bit tougher. This is a good time to find something that you know they love, and use it to break their mood.

Mom: Name something you love.

Child: I don't love anything!

Mom: Well, I love you.

Child: No you don't.

Mom: Hmmm... I love Nora. (Our cat.)

Child: I love Nora too.

A Bad Mood on a Bad day

Bad days are a little bit trickier. On these days you may have to try a couple of times before you hit the right thing. Don't give up! You can reach them!

On this particular day, I knew my son was upset at having to share the computer. He has been drawn to the computer since infancy, unlike my other children, and for him it really is torture to not have his own computer.

See if you can guess why your child is upset , and let them know that you understand. Validate their feelings. It may not be convenient, but then again when are emotions ever convenient?

Mom: Name something you love.

Child: I don't love anything!

Mom: Well, I love you.

Child: No you don't.

Mom: Hmmm... I love Nora. (Our cat.)

Child: Well I don't.

Mom: I love my plants. (Something I really have a passion for that I sometimes share with my son.)

Child: I don't.

Mom: I love my computer. (Again a passion my son and I share.)

Child: I don't love having to share the computer!

Mom: I know. You really like playing some of those computer games, and some days it feels like you just don't get enough time to play them.

Child: Yeah.

Mom: Would getting computer time right now help you feel better?

Child: Yeah, I guess.

Mom: I love you.

Child: I love you too. And Nora!

Use of Dramatic Sarcasm

I want to caution everyone to only use sarcasm in the most extreme situations, and to never use it on children that are younger than seven years of age. You know your child best, so use your own judgement. Just because they are seven years old, does not mean that they understand sarcasm. If they are not practised in recognizing sarcasm, than I recommend NOT using this technique until they are. Children who do not understand sarcasm can be quite hurt by your words.

If you believe your child is ready, and understands sarcasm, than I do suggest overacting! Overacting makes it quite clear that you are using sarcasm. Put your hand over your heart, makes your voice drip with sarcasm, and never use words that are biting!

Notice how I use sarcasm twice. The first time to pull him up from his bad mood. Even though he tells me exactly what he is upset about at this time, I do not try to solve the problem. When your child is that upset, let them have time to work through the reason. They do not need to be in a bad mood to do so. That is what you need to focus on! I use sarcasm again to name other things I know he loves, and show him how much he has to appreciate.

Mom: Name something you love.

Child: I don't love anything!

Mom: (sarcasm) Not even me?! I'm crushed!

Child: Well, I don't love anything else. Especially my little brother!

Mom: Not even Death?! I think I'm going to faint in disbelief! (We have named his favorite gun 'Death' in an attempt to remind him of what guns do. I know he will eventually get out of this phase, but my own limitations dictate that I find a way to inflict my judgments on his gun phase as it has lasted way past my comfort zone! )

Child: Well, I love Death.

Mom: What about Nora? You wouldn't miss her if she ran away?

Child: That would make me cry! I don't want her to run away! I love her!

Mom: Why don't you find her, and tell her that while you pet her.

See more at
See more at | Source

A Gift For Life

It may not seem like anything more lasting than a way to get through the minutes directly in front of you, but this technique is a gift you give your child for life. By having these short conversations with them, you are teaching them the skills they will use for the rest of their life.

Imagine knowing that as your child grows up and heads further into the world without you, that they will always be able to pull themselves out of a bad mood. If you are in a bad mood, you are not seeing things clearly and are more likely to make mistakes. Teach them this technique, and feel the security of knowing they make their decisions with a clear head. That sounds like a reason to rest easy!

Don't forget to use this technique on yourself. When you are in a bad mood...


Want to learn more? Visit 2Create Your Life today.


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    • TeachableMoments profile image

      TeachableMoments 5 years ago from California

      Your children are blessed to have such a loving and patient mother. It sounds like you know how to turn every negative remark into something positive. That takes amazing patience and skill. Great parenting tips.

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 5 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Thank you so much brakel2! I really am not sure how I came about the knowledge that I have. I have always loved studying psychology, so perhaps that is part of it. In addition, I love to study people.

      The real challenge has been finding ways to help myself and my children.. but that is something I simply would never give up on.

      Inspired by your question, I am working on some hubs to explain and teach some of the techniques I use. It has been slow going for me, but I hope I will be publishing them soon!

      I appreciate your kind words about me!

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      This is a super hub. You certainly have learned how to help your boys with good parenting skills. It made me wonder how you learned these skills. It must have taken study and thought. I know you do meditation and other techniques from an answer to a question I asked. Your children are so fortunate to have you as a mother. You are a role model for mothers everywhere. Fantastic Sparkle Chi. Take care.

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 5 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      I wish I could say that they are. I think once they realize that other people handle things much differently, they will be grateful. :)

    • profile image

      WhydThatHappen 5 years ago

      Great article! And great approach to parenting, your kids must be proud of you.

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 5 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Thanks Rosa! Thank you so much for leaving the comment!

    • I Am Rosa profile image

      Rosa Marchisella 5 years ago from Canada

      Love it! We use a similar technique in our home. Voted up, Interesting, Useful and shared with everyone I could! LOL Keep up the great work!

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 7 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Thanks Angela! Glad you stopped by!

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 7 years ago from Around the USA

      Excellent parenting tip!

    • Cam Anju profile image

      Cam Anju 8 years ago from Stoughton, Wisconsin

      Interesting... I love your examples!