Parenting Child Psychology and Behaviour

Why A Child Have Mood Swing? Ways to Handle Mood Swing

3 to 7 years

Created by Bhavna
Updated on Oct 13, 2019

Why A Child Have Mood Swing Ways to Handle Mood Swing
Reviewed by Expert panel

Mood swings in children is a big worry for parents because more often than not the parents do not understand the reasons so as to why may a child have a mood swing. Mood swing is a common occurrence and can even be noticed in a toddler. The factors are the same as seen in a grown-up child, only that they become more complex and need to be better handled by the parents.

Reasons Why A Child May Have Mood Swing

There are many reasons why a child may have a mood swing. Read below

Mood swings in teenagers may have some reasons like a particular school scenario leading up to a feeling of restlessness and inadequacy in handling a situation, relating to the school curriculum or just peer pressure. The best thing to do in such cases is to be patient and earful. [Read - Watchouts, Signs to Prevent Child abuse]

All through the teenage, the children are experiencing hormonal changes and trying to understand the feelings that come with it. Issues with respect to love and feelings towards someone from their peer group can also be a reason to alienate oneself and have mood swings. Communication is the key here; the parents need to make sure that they identify the stressor and gently guide the child towards ways to deal with it. Most often as soon as the child gets clarity on how to handle these issues the mood swings lessen.

Family drama is another leading reason for teenagers to feel anxiety; families that are going through a divorce or any other tension will definitely see the teen in the family with wide mood swings. The parents need to make sure that firstly, no episodes of aggressive behavior by the parents happen in front of the teenager and secondly, the teenager should be reassured of the love of the parents now and again so s/he is secure, mentally stable and calm. [Know - Why Teen Suicide While in Academic & Relationship Problems?]

Ways to Handle Mood Swing in Teenagers

Parents need to gently encourage the child into communicating and expressing the problems at hand. Most of the time once the stressor at the school is taken care of the mood swings lessen in intensity. Some handy tips to deal with mood swings in children. Read below...

Monitoring the Nutrition

A Biochemical imbalance due to poor nutrition can be a major cause of a mood swing in a child. The stable mood is a result of stable insulin and blood sugar in the body hence fluctuating blood sugar levels in the body will lead to fluctuating moods or mood swings. Avoiding foods with high fructose like corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and food coloring is helpful in stabilizing the mood swings. Avoiding sweetened and artificially flavored beverages is also a good idea.

Healthy Brainy Breakfast

A breakfast with high carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber is an ideal way for your child to start her day. A healthy breakfast of Oatmeal with yogurt and fruits (rich in carbohydrates and protein) will give a stable blood sugar level and hence help in keeping the mood swings in check.

Mid Meal Snacks

Always make sure that your child does not go hungry for long durations as this leads to irritability and mood swings. Healthy munching options may include snacks high on fiber, protein and healthy fats such as peanut butter sandwich, fruits like bananas and apples, fruit smoothies and yogurt, whole grain or oatmeal cookies. These are great mood stabilizers and will keep the biochemicals in balance.

Proper Sleep Schedule

Lack of timely sleep or poor quality of sleep can also result in a mood swing. Parents need to make sure that young children get their designated 8-10 hours of uninterrupted and peaceful sleep, daily to have a stable mood.

Physical Activities

Proper age-appropriate physical activity is a great way to lessen the mood swings. Exercise decreases the stress hormones such as cortisol and increases endorphin. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals and when they are released the mood is boosted naturally.

Family History & Genetics

Mood disorders sometimes run in the family and can be a symptom of a more severe problem like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Anxiety and depression are also conditions with an underlying symptom of mood swings. A professional opinion is very important when the child experiences an abnormal rise in mood swings. [Read - Depression Types & Treatment Tips for Children]

Alternative Treatment

Certain herbs, oils, and scents have been used to treat mood swings. Using these oils and scents in diffusers, the bedside promotes relaxation and calmness; examples of such oils can be lavender, Lemon, Orange, and peppermint.



We as parents need to provide a stable, secure and happy home environment for our children and inspire them to be happy and healthy for life.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Oct 26, 2012

Great thoughts there. Many parents are not aware that lack of proper nutrition could be causing mood swings and irritability in children, in fact deficiency of certain minerals such as magnesium, sodium and phosphorus may lead to fatigue, restlessness and irritability. Interestingly, most of these factors apply to adults as well, what with the hormonal changes and all, and mums n dads can take a cue, because kids often tend to bear the brunt of parents' moods :)

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| Oct 29, 2012

I totally agree with the many valid points covered by you. But however an interesting article at Humpty Bumpty Kids enlightened me on how the environment at home can make a difference in the moods, behaviour and attitude of a child.

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| Nov 05, 2012

My daughter is eight years old and she gets irritated nowadays very often, she is also obese. I hve started with proper foods n nutrition and with some physical activities like cycling and dance. Something more i can do to keep her busy n healthy please suggest

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| Nov 22, 2012

So true that staying hungry for long can induce irritability in lil ones, and they wont even know why they are upset.. great insights, thanks!

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| Jul 18, 2013

I agree with her too... tht we shud give child proper diet containing... protien, calcium, Iron. Shud give fruits, pulses, chapati, rice, 2 glasses of milk this is minimum. If possible give child nuts too... it helps to build strong body n increase immunity too. I hv seen many cases where child gets irritated or keep on crying entire day n mothers gone crazy as nt knowing the reason... It happens in anemic children as well... child feel tried all the time... feel sleepy n irritated.. Growing chldren needs good amt of Calcium, protein n Iron.

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| Apr 12, 2018

These are very useful tips for dealing mood swings in children I will surely apply all these tips sometimes my child become angry because he is hungry then I give them immuno boosters chocolate then he become happy & calm. it is very good for child immunity I recommended all the mother please try it & u will see a drastic change in ur child surely.

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