Crankiness is a changing child behaviour symptom and can make for a really unhappy home life.
There are many things that will make your child cranky, such as being overly stimulated, tired/sleepy or bored and your child can be suffering from one or more of the above almost 24/7. Your role as a parent is to NOT criticize your child's crankiness, especially not in front of other people. What you may do instead of criticizing is to simply just ignore your child's crankiness for the time being and then try to talk to your child about it at a later time when they are not so cranky.
When talking to your child about their cranky behaviour, you should not describe their behavior as bad, nor should you label your child as bad. Instead, you must praise your child by saying something nice like, "I like it when you smile!" and be playful with them so they feel comfortable. You may then try to ask them if they are having problems or ask about how they are doing at school. Often school life is the cause of cranky behaviour. Younger siblings being the second biggest cause. Even cranky children are not cranky all the time and still need attention from their parents.
Always try to keep up with what is happening in your children's lives. I know this is hard considering the fact that parents have to work, too. But if you take the time to see how they are managing things like school homework and household chores, maybe even help them with their homework once in a while, you will be able to pop in a question or two that can help you to figure out why they might be cranky.
Develop some little routines and rituals, especially at bedtimes and meal times. Provide your child with commentaries like "Dinner will be ready in 5 minutes." and wherever possible give your child options like, "Do you want fish or chicken?" instead of just asking "What do you want for dinner?"
As a general rule, as children get older, they are going to want to become more involved when it comes to household rule making. Allow your kids to be involved, but don't allow them to debate the rules that you have already instated. Just tell them that you will talk more about it at another time.
Proactive parenting is the most effective way to manage changing child behaviour. There is not a lot to learn about proactive parenting and I hope the tips I have outlined here in this article are helpful.
There are many things that we as parents can do to manage changing child behaviour. Behavior doesn't usually change overnight, though and a behaviour that you think you have quashed may reappear in the future. Only thing is, it will be a little easier to change a second time round.