Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Dealing with "GRUMPY" kids

What to do when kids get grumpy

Grumpy children are really hard to handle, and it seems like, at least for me, that when a season changes, the grumpiness of my children seems to be magnified 10 times. Sleeping schedules change, it is dark early at night, and there are extracurricular activities late into the evening. The chance of sibling fights increases because the children are on top of each other while they are doing their homework or chores. Pretty soon the whole family can get grumpy!

However, you can work with your children to order their lives so they (and you) can deal with their grumpiness. May I suggest three different ways you may want to think about curing or at least relieving the challenges of grumpiness in your family.

-- First, children get grumpy if they don't get enough sleep. This often means you must alter your schedule accordingly. If they are going to stay up late the night before, they will need to either sleep in or take naps the next day. This is usually possible over the weekend.

Also, major activities take a lot of energy, so having them one day after the other, especially with very young children, can be taxing. A late activity one night and an early school schedule the next day just doesn't work well, either. So make every effort to get them enough sleep.

-- Second, teach children that weariness is part of life and that it is OK to stop, curl up and just lie down for a while after school, even if napping isn't likely to happen. Weariness is inevitable, especially during very stressful or long, drawn-out days. Lastly, help them gain skills to talk through their feelings and their emotions when they get grumpy. When emotions are running high and weariness is added, grumpiness is magnified.

-- Talk with your children about why and how grumpiness is manifest in people's lives. Maybe when you're with your children and you observe it in another person, you might wish to speak to your family members about it. This will help them understand what grumpiness is like and how they can perceive it in themselves and other people.

So help them get enough sleep, help them know how to handle their own weariness by taking a reprieve, and help them to communicate properly when grumpiness has set in. Good luck! Remember, your family will be a happier family all around when grumpiness is better understood!

Marie C. Ricks is a motivational speaker and the author of a new book, "Project Organization, Quick and Easy Ways to Organize Your Life." To order her products, offer comments or suggestions, go to -  Marie Calder Ricks/House of Order

Mr. Boggs - Sensei
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