Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Have you ever wondered how volatile children are?

Osh Osh went through so many high and low moods all within a span of a few hours - from the moment we got home to his bedtime, he was up and down and up and down and well, you get the picture.

Firstly, he was happily talking to us in the car about things he saw on the road. Then, when we parked and got out of the car, he started to say that he was tired and refused to walk so I had to carry him. Otherwise, all 3 of us will not get anywhere near home and that would have been disastrous considering how tired and hungry DH and I both were.

Then, he was happy again once home. Today was a bit odd. He wanted to take out all his baby toys from the toybox which he had not touched in probably over a year. So there he was on his own in the living room, reliving his "babyhood".

Next was bathtime and he fussed and cried again when DH bathed him. After that, he came over to our room to look for me and told me what parts of the body you need to wash when you bathe. He said his teacher taught him that he needs to wash his hair, his stomach, his knees and his legs. He was laughing when he said that.

Dinner time was a completely different story. Today he was particularly agitated and didn't want to eat his dinner. We had to put him in a corner as he fussed so much. He cried and cried so we couldn't even start a proper time out until he was quiet. DH and I carried on with our dinner but halfway through, I lost my appetite.

Osh Osh eventually completed his time out of 3 minutes about 20 minutes later. When I brought him back to the dining table, he started eating again. Definitely a bit slower than usual but he was eating. He started being chatty again, talking about his art work at school and his soldier toys.

I could go on and on but writing about this is really making me tired. It's like reliving it again! I was already worn out when I went through it the first time so a rehash of this is really not doing me any good.

The end result of today is that Osh Osh went to bed happy, despite the many ups and downs he had today. He drifted off to sleep peacefully with a little red bear key chain on his index finger (he likes to hold something as he sleeps and the item can vary from day to day) and believe me, he wouldn't have remembered most of the episodes that he had this evening when he wakes up tomorrow morning.

The thing is we as adults experience volatility in our own moods too. All the time, all day every day. However, I guess as adults, we're better at masking it, supressing it, denying it, justifying it, (the list goes on) whereas for kids, it all just comes out as and when it happens.

Now, my question is...which is the better approach? Are we adults better at coping with our moods or is it better to react honestly to our moods like children do? Children, for most of the time, do not carry any emotional baggage whereas to find an adult without any emotional baggage, one would be put to the task as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack.



Marlayna said...

It's funny, as I was reading your entry I thought... hmm that sounds like me. LOL I see what you are saying about not holding on to our emotional stuff and letting it out when it happens. But I also see people who don't "count to 10" before they lose it and make a complete fool of themselves and effect lots of other people around them. I have been trying to teach my whole family that when you are in a bad mood be in your bad mood but you don't get to take it out on the people who you love. It isn't an easy lesson to teach and I understand why. Anyway, so to answer your question, while I think the emotions of small children are explored so easily, I think that adults and growing children should learn how to be careful about the emotions they let run wild.... but at the same time have someone to talk to about them so they aren't bottled up.

Alice said...

Hhmph, tell me about these mood swings lol! Another funny thing about kids is that things are so quickly forgotten and they don't hold grudges. I mean, you can shout/yell at them for doing something so stupid and then the next minute, they're all lovey-dovey with you again as if nothing has happened. As for adults, I think I prefer the 'count to 10' approach and talk about things when all parties involved are calm(er). Otherwise, things which you did't really mean to say are said and can't be taken back and can often make the situation worse. But sometimes, it's easier said than done.

BinkyBear said...

Thank you, Alice, for your honesty (de facto confession that you have shouted at your kids).

I guess it happens everywhere, to just about every parent. Being tired and stretched is probably the most common underlying reason for parents to yell at their kids, when they wouldn't yell at other adults or children of other adults.

Sarah said...

I'm not sure what the 'right' approach is, but I do know that I hate it when I shout at my husband and/or kids. It's something I didn't learn as a kid - restraint when and where appropriate. I'm trying to teach my girls this lesson, but how well will they learn it when I have hissy fits every other day?