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Children & Strong Negative Emotions

Does your child pout and become hard to live with?

All children have some way of handling it when they don’t get their way. They have their own ways of reacting when things do not work out as they want. They have ways of dealing with a world they think is sometimes unfair.

Two of their choices are temper tantrums and pouting. Most children use one or the other once in a while.

Just to be fair, answer this question. When you get angry or frustrated, are you more likely to pout or have a little temper tantrum? How about others at your home? When things do not go the way they want them to go, do they pout or have tantrums? Just keep in mind that your child may not be the only one having trouble handling things.

Also, take a minute to think about a child who neither pouts nor has temper tantrums. This can be much worse than either pouting or temper tantrums. Why? Because it often means the child is just accepting whatever happens. Even worse, she has gotten to where she no longer has any feelings about what happens to her. She does not care or thinks what she feels does not matter. This is a very bad sign.

What is your child doing when she pouts? She is angry, frustrated, or upset about something. She mainly feels angry. She does not talk about it or try to work out her problem. Instead, she pouts and makes it rough for other people.

What can you do? Think about what upset her. Maybe what happened was unfair or she really was treated badly. Either way, pouting about it is a problem.

Say, “I have thought about what happened. We can talk about it if you want to. Here is my problem right now. You have a right to feel how you feel but pouting about it is not your best choice. I think it would be better if you either got up and over it or at least talked about it. It is your choice. Here is what I am going to do. I am going to do nothing unless you choose to talk with me about it. You can pout or talk. It’s your choice. If you choose to pout, please do it in your room.” Now leave it alone. Her only choice is to behave more appropriately or be by herself.