How a young child (1-3 years old) wakes up in the morning will determine his / her mood during most of the daytime. A young child who starts the day in a happy mood, will most likely remain a happy child. On the contrary, a child who wakes up with lots of whimpers will continue whining until someone does various extra efforts to cheer him / her up. Some children will even keep on sitting on his / her parent's lap and being miserable for at least the first half of the day.
The parents play an important role in creating such a happy atmosphere at the time a child wake up in the morning.
A healthy child will love waking up to:
1. A happy greeting
Small children are very dependent on their parent. As soon as they are awake, they will look for their parents or call their parents loudly to come immediately. I advice parents not to ignore them, but to come and greet them cheerfully with a hello, a kiss, a hug and perhaps also a song.
2. A happy face
The happiness shown on the parents' face while talking to children is something that the children will always remember. It is infectious too. Happy parents will create happy children.
If a child keeps on being sad and whimpering in the morning, what could be the problem? Some explanations are:
The child is still very sleepy.
1. S / he was probably up till late the night before. If this is the case, I advise parents to get the child back to sleep and try to get the child follow the normal sleeping pattern step by step.
2. The child has an unfulfilled wish
If a child whines and asks for something continually, I can say that this case is a combination of another improper bed time scheduling plus a lack of communication between parents and the child.
Besides introducing the child to a proper bed time schedule over again, I advise parents to build a close communication with the child. Parents may also want to accompany the child for some minutes on the bed each night to read to him / her as well as talk about the child's plan for tomorrow. Provide the child with some interesting ideas to do tomorrow. On the next morning, the child will wake up happily knowing that something interesting is going to happen. Perhaps the child will still be a bit fussy over his / her unfulfilled wish, but with parents' guide through good communication this problem can soon be solved. A healthy child who has enough sleep and good communication with parents will less likely develop a tantrum.
3. The child is not feeling very well. The child may appear inactive, soundless and eat less. Symptoms of an illness are sometimes not obvious and parents will think that the child is still very sleepy. It happens many times to small children. I think the way that a child refuses every food offered to him / her is already a sign for parents to be curious and take precautious protection towards the child's physical condition.