7 ways to cheer up your child

What do you do when your child’s in a slump?

The power of praise

Whenever Chloe gets stuck in a crying jag, I try to find something to praise her for. It can be any little move she makes toward calming herself, like going to get herself a tissue or taking a deep breath. She can’t help smiling when I do this. Then the meltdown is over and she’s able to move on with her day.

— Kate, mother of Chloe, San Francisco

Get your ya-yas out

I have a very physical, “spirited” child. It took me forever to realize that whenever Ben was really grumpy or frustrated, what he needed most was to get outside and play or simply run around the house for a few minutes. Even if I’m busy and trying to get ready for dinner, I stop and announce to Ben that it’s time for him to “get his ya-yas out.” Now he even uses that term when he’s feeling out of sorts. Getting his ya-yas out always cheers him up.

— Colleen, mother of Ben, Atlanta, Georgia

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