The Hidden Moods of Children

What goes through the mind of a child between the ages of 9-12?

Much time has passed since I was that age and so you must excuse me if my own remembrances are rusty.  I saw myself as a happy child, brought up in a safe, comfortable setting with a close-knit family.

I cannot project my own experience onto that of my students, nor am I a mind-reader.  When a student comes into a classroom sad or ill-tempered, should I predict that something happened at home to trigger the mood?  Or if someone seems happy, could that possibly be a mask?

Children, like adults, have issues, too.  There are tragedies, tense family situations, pressures to achieve.  As teachers, we don’t always know what lurks behind the moods of children, yet we still have to deal with it.  And so how we approach the children is important.  We must never take anything personally; we must never assume that everyone is happy all the time and that anything we say can affect one’s attitude.  Sometimes negatively.

My book, in general, presents a well-adjusted group of students, strong in their support of one another.  They have their own issues which do not surface in the novel (except for Paul’s sadness over his mother’s death and Chad’s depression over his father’s alcoholism) but I focused mainly on their healthy interactions in their school.  If anything, I tried to illustrate that friendship is vital to one’s life.  Maslow would agree with me:  check out his Hierarchy of Needs.


About randycoates

Randy Coates graduated from the University of Waterloo with a bachelor of arts degree and went on to acquire his teacher’s certificate at the University of Western Ontario. He is currently an elementary teacher in the Toronto District Board of Education.
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6 Responses to The Hidden Moods of Children

  1. Diane says:

    Kids do have emotions just as powerful as adults. Your book sounds like a great resource to have to help kids work through their feelings. :O)

  2. Renee C. says:

    When I read your opening sentence, my response (as a Mom to a 9 year old girl) was, “Omigosh, does he know?? Could he??” lol It’s interesting what you say regarding your thoughts as a teacher when you encounter a student who comes to school with a negative mood. BTW, I am VERY familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (you’ll have to check out my bio to find out why) and I really buy into it! The flip side is that when my daughter comes home from school in a negative mood, I ask her what happened at school. I find that at this age, it’s the relationships that impact their self-esteem and her outlook. And I mean this broadly… it could be a relationship with one parent, a sibiling, a friend, a teacher… I think that kids are starting to develop their sense of self through feedback from others, so praise goes a long, long way but an unkind word can also be damaging.
    Thanks so much for joining us once again in the Kid Lit Blog Hop – always nice to see you Randy! 🙂

    • randycoates says:

      Remee. I did go back to your bio to see your connection to Maslow. I guess the PhD in Psychology would have something to do with your knowledge of Maslow. By the way, thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Your blog idea with your daughter is very interesting and very innovative. Also very people-friendly. Keep doing it.

      • Renee C. says:

        Thanks for the positive feedback Randy. I really enjoy your blog as well. It’s been very interesting to learn more about the personal side of some of the authors I’m meeting. I’ve always felt that writing a book and getting it published is akin to getting a glimpse into someone’s soul. It is a very personal and courageous thing to do and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed connecting with authors. Have a great day!

      • randycoates says:

        Thanks for your response, Renee.

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