Recognizing the Signs of Your Child’s Moods – Listen to Your Children

Vision perception - Memoirs

 

 

Moody. I don’t like that word. Moody was a common name my mother called me – constantly. No smiles or laughter from me constituted moody.

 

When I look back on my not-so-stellar childhood and think about the words – “You’re so goddamned moody,” I shake my head and shudder.

What did I really want to reply to her snide remarks? “I’m not moody, it’s you who makes me miserable, always breaking my spirit. This face is just for you.” But instead, I kept my hurt and resentment to myself because I knew if I didn’t, I’d pay dearly for opening my mouth. It was just easier to stay silent and miserable, using my facial expressions to evoke what I wouldn’t dare say verbally. Certainly, living under those circumstances kept me moody for years. How I didn’t turn out to become a chronically depressed person is nothing short of a miracle.

Growing up walking on eggshells around my mother and HER moods and volatile fits of anger kept me pretty quiet. Being a personal slave to her whims, demands and demeaning created my moods. But I couldn’t tell her that. I craved so badly for her to ever ask me why I looked so unhappy. But I did what was expected of me and kept my laughter and good sense of humor under wraps; revealing my happy side and humor only for others. She never really knew me.

Despite my crappy childhood, I was lucky. I was a thinker, an analyzer, and a planner, living on my dream of leaving home one day. And after I finally did move away from home at 18, Humpty put herself back together again on her very own. I was calmer without living with daily anxiety as I did at home, I devoured self-help books, and fell into a wonderful circle of loving and supportive friends. I met my best friend Zan within a year of moving into my cozy little apartment. She taught me that it was okay to be myself, allowed me to cry out loud, made me feel I was worthy of being loved, and cared about me, especially on those days when I didn’t wear a smile. She was also the first friend I ever had who told me she loved me and taught me to feel comfortable saying those words to others. ‘I love you’ was a phrase uncommon to me.

Between my new friendships and the many books I read, I found myself. I grew to love myself. The big personality I had hidden deep inside bloomed outwardly and I felt my personality radiate wherever I went. I realized then I was not a moody person; I was well-balanced, held no more pent-up anger, and no longer felt I was living in a perpetual state of anxiety. I loved to laugh and make others laugh. And although I may have and still do rant at injustice, I’ll state my ire, get it out of my system, and move on with a smile. From a childhood filled with not being heard or understood and stifling my thoughts, worries and dreams, I grew in all the healthy ways I should have done growing up at home.

And this little insight into my former years leads up to my question, what is wrong with parents who don’t even try to understand the reasons for their child’s behavior?

There’s a reason for a mood – bad or good, there is something behind those moods. People, especially children, wear their hearts on their sleeves. Sure, kids may be sad or mad for trivial issues such as: they didn’t get their way or perhaps they hurt themselves, or they may not be feeling well. But kids who walk around carrying sadness or hurt in their hearts will undoubtedly present themselves displaying signs of hurt, anger, displeasure, nervous habits, and mostly silence. These children need attention. They need love and compassion and a parent to notice and ask questions.

A child shouldn’t be made to suffer in silence with worries and anxieties plaguing them. It’s the parent’s job to notice these behavioral changes in their children. If a well-balanced child is showing continual signs of unhappiness or anxiety, it’s the parent’s job to speak with the child with compassion, giving them the comfort and freedom to speak about what’s on their mind.

A child needs security. They need to know their parents love them. They need to hear their parents tell them they are loved. They need to feel comfortable in knowing if anything is bothering them they can freely talk to their parents without being afraid to confront them or made to feel their problems are insignificant or a burden to their parents. It’s a parent’s duty to know their child and question them when they see their child is unhappy. What they don’t need is name calling, being ignored and left to their own imaginations, wondering why they can’t share their concerns.

I know growing up in my era, parenting didn’t come with an instruction manual, as it still doesn’t today. But in today’s world there is a lot more awareness about child rearing, many books available, and many support groups available  to get educated on raising happy, healthy children. I’m not sure whether or not compassion can be taught, but I will add here that having compassion for your child should be the very first prerequisite to entitle a parent to be a parent.

Yes, I say I was lucky because it’s quite common for children who grow up in a disturbing environment to carry their angst and hurt with them throughout their lives. They’ll often remain reserved, sometimes falling into deeper or long-term depression. Some grow up being easily led astray by anyone who offers them a false sense of loving them, and many grow up combative and become bullies because of the resentment embedded deep within their psyches from their underlying hurts.

Emotional damage can take a lifetime to overcome, and for some, they may never get the chance to become mentally stable or be able to experience happiness in their lives. If they’re lucky like me and have a strong will and sense of what is right and what is wrong, and can wade through their childhoods and discover methods and people who can help them grow and nurse their wounds, they’ll have a fighting chance. But sadly, for many, this isn’t always the way things turn out. So, please, give a child a fighting chance of growing up happy and healthy. Have compassion, use patience, spend time with your children, and tell them they are loved.

3 Simple Words — Building #Selfworth — #Broken #Children

Kindness, Words We Carry

Growing up in a childhood where the words, I love you are seldom heard affects our self-esteem and instills an aversion in children to be able to say these unfamiliar words to others. This pattern usually sets the tone for a feeling of discomfort as they grow older when it comes to having the ability to say those words to someone else.

 

When children are unfamiliar with hearing these words, it becomes unnatural for them to speak them out loud to others. Many may begin to feel that announcing their feelings isn’t acceptable, because if it was, why weren’t they more familiar with this endearment?

 

 

Just as a bandage is made to cover up a wound in order for it to heal, so are thoughts blocked off by children who aren’t comfortable sharing their feelings. Happy or sad, they take refuge in their own little worlds, harboring their hurts internally; only that type of bandage doesn’t heal a wound.

 

Children left to their own demises after encountering hurtful situations in life , who haven’t been extended that comfort zone by a parent, can be vulnerable to the options they choose for consoling themselves. Many grow up feeling needy, which can lead them into more hurtful situations as they age  by falling into the wrong types of relationships when they’re longing to be loved.

Without loving support, people tend to gravitate to people who prey on their neediness. These children may wind up being subservient as adults with their aim to please, or in abusive relationships as they may feel the punishers are justified, because of their low sense of self-worth which had never been nurtured.

 

shattered words

When a child has experienced their first broken heart, and finds his/herself uncomfortable talking to his or her parents because of the unfamiliarity of these emotions in their growing up environment, they aren’t apt to share their sadness with their parents because they aren’t familiar with loving support, or perhaps they’re afraid of their situation being dismissed as trivial puppy love.

 

When these children withdraw into themselves, and lock themselves in their rooms sobbing in their pillows, feeling as though their heart has been broken into a million pieces and there’s nobody to listen to them or comfort them, these are the beginnings of a child’s crushed soul, and so begins the cycle of questioning their self-worth.

The sense of loss and being given no compassion are the makings for how one begins to form ideas about what it would take to be loved. Repercussions can be anything from being afraid to get involved in a future relationship, to becoming someone who they aren’t, in efforts to portray themselves as someone else to gain attention of future suitors. These people can easily grow up to become broken souls.

 

 

Broken souls go through life feeling inadequate, and unworthy because nobody told them they were not. They have only to judge from what they’ve experienced, what they know. From there, the road can lead to anywhere there becomes acceptance and attention. They can’t save themselves until they learn from encouraging people. If they’re lucky enough to encounter encouraging people, helping hands in their journeys through life, who can encourage  them and make them feel worthy of being loved, they can gain the opportunity to re-examine their broken selves, and their broken souls may gain a chance to flourish.

 

 

For the lucky few, they find the hand that reaches out to help mend their broken selves. For many others, they may spend the rest of their lives searching for their self-worth.

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Children need encouragement, attention, love and support from their parents in order to grow up to be comfortable in their skin and to gain the capacity to form healthy relationships as they grow. Children need all this to feel that they are worthwhile human beings, and to become good parents themselves by keeping the goodness flowing through future generations.

 

We are all products of our environments. Our first teachers are our parents. If our parents weren’t taught how to become good parents, shown affection, or told they’re loved, it’s unlikely they will be passing on any of these important elements when raising a child.

 

Back when I was growing up, I was one of those emotionally neglected children. but I was one of those lucky few who got through it by myself, painful as it was. I moved away at a young age, and found the hands that reached out to me, which helped me build my self-esteem.

 

I remember my best friend I met just after leaving home, always encouraging me, hugging me, and telling me she loved me. I have to admit, it felt so strange at first hearing those words. I felt shy and embarrassed at first because it felt weird telling someone I loved them. But Zan was the hand that reached out and pulled me out of my negative image of myself, and I have her to be grateful for so much in life as I began to learn what the word love encompassed from that point on.

 

 

In this era that we live in now, there is so much help available for everyone. Nobody should have to go through life feeling unloved or unloveable. There are tons of books available for self-help now, about issues that weren’t even recognized when I was a child. There are support groups for every cause, and there are also many people eager to share and support us with conditions which plague us. And most importantly, there are all these same resources equally available to parents, so they too can learn how to become loving and supportive parents.

 

It no longer has to matter if our parent’s didn’t know how to demonstrate love and affection. We don’t have to follow old norms and patterns. We may not be able to change the past, but there’s so much we can do to climb out of our sheltered souls. The world is full of opportunity and venues for us all to be able to learn how to become our best selves, how to feel worthy of ourselves, and how to help us strive to be whatever it is we wish to become better at.

 

 

 

D.G. Kaye ©2015