Sourpuss Hats

March 4th, 2009 by Patti P

When children get grouchy, it’s a powerful thing to help them gain the self-awareness that they are in a bad mood. Sometimes a touch of humor helps them learn this. When Heidi was young, she and her dear friend Emily used to play “Sourpuss Hats.” I think the game started because one day Emily’s mother had asked Emily if she had put on her sourpuss hat because she was so cranky. Emily (and then Heidi) quickly adopted this idea. They found real hats that became their official sourpuss hats, which they donned whenever being a sourpuss was warranted. With hats on their heads, they stomped around the house with dour looks on their faces, making various grumbly c omments. It was hilarious for all concerned.

But the best part was the holdover for when they really were grouchy. All we mothers had to do at this point was say, “Do you need your sourpuss hat? You’re acting mighty grouchy right now.” And the girls would giggle and somehow the grumpy mood was magically transformed. They started this when they were two or so, and still to this day, nine years later, if they are in a grouchy mood, they both break into a smile at just the mention of the words “sourpuss hat.” It’s astonishing what a little good-hearted humor can do to save the day!

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One Response to “Sourpuss Hats”

  1. Greenseeds Says:

    I agree it’s a powerful thing to teach children about emotions. When my boys were little and they would be grouchy, my husband or I would say “Oh, I guess we better shake those grouchies out”. So then we hold them in our arms and tilt them sideways or upside down and give them a gentle shake or two. (only while we could still lift them). The boys always ended up laughing. Soon they would say “I’ve got to shake these grouchies out”.

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