Parenting--Toddlers/Infants/Pre-Schoolers/My Moodiness kid


QUESTION: Dear Eleanor ,
   I am facing a crucial problem with my little son , he is 2 years and 4 months , his mood is always bad , I hope I can see him smile , when he is laughing he is actually acting , when you ask him if he is happy he absolutely says NO , he is the only one , I don't have other kids, I am working and he is daily in the nursery from 7:30 to 4:30 , he has suspicious behavior , sometimes you think he is having fun , and suddenly he just through himself on the ground and become upset .

I think he is always upset :-( , I don't know how to deal with him , we were in a vacation last week in a resort just to make him happy , even though he was always crying , moodiness , upset , nothing will satisfy him , Please advice .

ANSWER: Hi Hiba, it would be important to ask the nursery school how he is there or if they notice this behaviour too. Also, has he always been like this as a baby too or was he smiley and happy as a baby and this is a new change in his behaviour?

Some children are hard to please and more serious than others and may not smile much at this age and get upset or frustrated easily and only seem to react with tantrums. It may get better as he learns more words and communicates through words rather than behaviour. You could maybe ignore his tantrums and see if they get less as he may be doing it to get your attention or to get his way. By ignoring him and tell him you will talk when he calms down,  his tantrum time will lessen. Otherwise you could sit with him and wait till he is calm and see if that stops the behaviour sooner. Choose a method to try for about 7 days and see if it improves.

He is still young and he may always be a serious boy and more a thinker rather than a laughing boy I would only be concerned around age 3.5 or 4 if this continued.
Kind regards Eleanor

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Eleanor ,
  I asked the nursery , and they told me he is just quite kid there , crying only when someone took his toy , he has a normal behavior , playing with kids , his crying percentage is normal comparing to other kids, regarding the second question , no he wasn't like that I think as he is become younger he becomes more moodiness , when he was a little baby no one heard him cry , he was more quite and laugher .

Hi Hiba

Based on what the nursery has said, I think that because he is doing this just at home then it is normal for his age and will probably get better again as he learns more words and gets a little more mature.  

It is a difficult age normally as they try to find their independence and may become a little more serious during this time.  Just make sure you set and keep some broad 'rules' for his age and don't fight him on every little thing, It does take some patience and acknowledge his feelings when he does get upset by saying "I see you are angry, upset, sad, worried, when  "this  or that happened'. This will also help him to get more self control as he gets older because he will have a name to put to a feeling and may not feel ignored.

You can read more at my blog

Kind regards Eleanor  


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Eleanor Formaggio


I can answer questions where practical advice is sought in relation to behaviour issues of 2-10 year olds. I specifically look at the influence of personality in a child's behaviour and tailor advice to suit the individual child and parent. This is useful since not all children are the same. I can suggest techniques for tantrums, child aggression and sibling rivalry and adapting to change.


I am a counsellor and child behaviour consultant based in Sydney, Australia and mum to three boys ages 12,10 and 6. I have been involved in setting up and facilitating community support groups for new mothers and run parenting workshops so parents can better understand their children's behaviour. I have spent alot of time observing personality differences in children and understanding how these differences can be used to make parenting easier. I developed the Early Childhood Personality Rating Scale for identifying child personality types in children as young as two. I am the founder of Parent with Potential and developed the Prechooler Personality Kit and READ personality system for primary aged children. More info can be found at

Book: In this Present Moment: Quality Time Ideas for busy parents.

I have a Bachelors Degree in Applied Social Science (Counselling).

Past/Present Clients
Parents of 2-8 year olds. Mothers with Postnatal Depression or anxiety attending a support group or seeking individual counselling or advice in relation to their child's behaviour.

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