How to deal with sulking child?

It’s not easy being a parent. You have to be patient, understanding, and always willing to help your children out when they need it the most. But sometimes you can’t help but get frustrated when your kids are acting up or throwing tantrums.

Currently, you’re feeling overwhelmed with the question “How to deal with sulking child?”. Hopefully, I got some tips covered in this guide, simple yet effective that I believe will surely help you out.

The best thing you can do is try not to take things personally. If your child is upset about something, it might not be because of anything you did wrong – they’re just having an off day and want attention. Try talking them through their feelings so they don’t feel like they’re bottling up their emotions.

If your child is throwing a sulk, it’s good to let them know that a sulk isn’t a nice way to behave and that there are much better ways to handle problems. Besides, if you give in every time they pout their lips, they’ll always want something from you when they’re upset.

How to deal with sulking child?

Sometimes it’s not your fault that your kids are throwing a sulk! If you go out of your way to help them sort out their feelings, chances are they won’t feel the need to act up just so you’ll pay attention to them.

What causes sulking in a child?

Understanding why your child is sulking can help you to get your answer about How to deal with sulking child and come up with a solution. Here are some of the most common reasons for kids sulking behavior:

  • They’re tired or hungry.
  • They feel left out or unattended.
  • Someone else is getting more attention than they are.
  • They already feel bad about themselves for something else (e.g., they failed to do what you asked them to do) and then something else goes wrong, making them feel even worse.

Even though it’s not easy dealing with such kids, there are some steps that will help you come up with a solution:

1. Give the full attention

Understand the situation; A kid with a tantrum is not giving you hard time but on contrary, he is having a hard time. If he needs attention, try giving him your full attention. Don’t do something else at the same time; look at them and acknowledge what they are saying, don’t ignore their behavior of sulking.

2. Listen to him/her

A kid who is sulking is trying to express his/her feelings like anger or frustration but it may not be coming out as words. In that case, having a short parent-child conversation can solve this problem with ease. Just listen to him/her and if they ask for help then consider what you can do to help them feel better.

3. Don’t punish a sulker

don't punish kids

Don’t punish a sulking kid for the behavior because doing so will only make her stop expressing her feelings which is not a good sign. Punishing a kid who is sulking will show that she can suppress her feelings and it will give rise to other forms of misbehavior in the future.

4. Don’t criticize or nag them

Don’t do something which might make a sulker feel worse about his/her behavior, like criticizing them or nagging them to stop sulking.

5. Avoid “stop” and “don’t.”

These two words can evoke more anger and frustration and that might lead to an outburst of angry behavior, so avoid using these words if you want to resolve the situation.

6. Keep stress at a minimum

keep stress at min

Keep things around your house free of clutter and make it a point to be relaxed during mealtime. Try not to pile household duties on them because this will only lead to more stress for both the kid and you.

7. Look for warning signs

If you’re worried about how to deal with sulking child; you must look for the warning signs.

Try knowing what are the signs that he/she is going through mood swings that might lead to sulk.

Help them find positive ways of dealing with frustration like venting or doing some physical activity they enjoy, like running, playing ball, etc. This will help him/her feel better about themselves and more importantly, it will show that you are willing to help them when needed the most.

8. Fulfill nutrition deficiency

If you notice that your child is acting out due to fatigue or hunger, try to fulfill their nutritional deficiency by serving them healthy foods.

  • For Carbohydrates – Whole grain bread, pasta, rice
  • For Proteins – Milk, chicken, fish, egg
  • For Fats – Butter, vegies Nuts, Oil, and Ghee
  • For Vitamins – Fruits

This will give their brain the energy it needs which will help them avoid mood swings and sulking.

9. Practice breathing exercises with the kid

Indeed, this is one of the greatest and my last tip for the parents dealing with a sulking child. Before going to bed at night, do some breathing exercises with your kids. Inhale and exhale deeply as you count from 1to 4 and then repeat the process till you calm down (1-2 minutes would be fine). This will help them feel relaxed and happier.


Children have their own way of dealing with things and we as parents should not take that negatively or as a challenge but try to accept and deal with it in the best possible manner which is what I tried to explain here.

In a nutshell, there are three simple rules that can help you deal with sulking children.

1. Don’t ignore that behavior because you are just making things worse for them and yourself too.

2. Don’t punish a sulking child, this might lead to escalation of their negative behavior in the future.

3. Don’t give them anything which they might consider as negative criticism or nagging so that you won’t make them feel worse.

📌 Related: Tips For Dealing With A Whiny Kid

Video On How To Deal With Sulking Child


Is sulking a personality disorder?

No, sulk is not a personality disorder. It’s a way of dealing with emotions like anger and frustration in a negative manner. While it’s not advisable to sulk for long periods of time, doing so for a short duration is not harmful. However, if sulk turns into a habit and starts affecting your daily life then it might be indicative of some other problem that requires professional help.

Is sulking immature?

Yes, sulking is immature behavior. Sulkers try to keep their feelings covered up and they do so by pouting in anger or by shutting themselves in silence. It’s rare for them to ‘show’ what they are feeling because it seems difficult for them to communicate their problems in words due to frustration or embarrassment.

A mature individual would confidently discuss what is bothering him/her without having the need of a co-sulker who would support her. He’s able to be honest with others about his mood and his reasons for behaving the way he does – no matter how unhappy he is!

What is difference between angry and sulk?

Angry is an emotional state that is characterized by feelings of frustration and/or irritation. When a person becomes angry, they often display hostile or aggressive behavior. Sulk, on the other hand, is a type of passive-aggressive behavior that is exhibited when a person withdraws from interactions or relationships as a way to punish the other person. People who sulk tend to be very resentful and closed off. They may also exhibit symptoms of depression.

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