I was having a bad parenting day. Everything was met with resistance, and my responses were less than helpful. But when I asked her, “Do you know what I love about you?” a smile slowly spread across my four year old’s face. “What?” she answered. My quick response was met with “What else?”
And we played this course correcting game for a good long time. And then she asked me, “You know what I love about you, mama?”
Our day suddenly took a turn for the better.
Here are five more ideas to get out of a bad day.
How to pull yourself out of a bad parenting day:
Unfilled tanks cause difficult days. And nothing fills my kiddos tanks more than sitting on the floor and playing. Some undivided attention goes a long way toward fixing a bad day. And when the kiddos are napping or having their quiet time, find some time to fill your tank: read a book, watch a show or take a nap. The dishes will be there later. Promise.
2. Allow a treat
We don’t get lots of sugary treats at our house. But occasionally on a difficult day I’ve been known to ask, “Who wants ice cream?” It’s less about the ice cream and more about the grace of a treat even though none of us “deserve” it. Grace all around does wonders for attitudes. Other treat ideas: give the kiddos a just-for-fun bath, let them pick a whole bunch of books for you to read together, or bake something with them.
3. Change scenes
Get outside. Fresh air and sunshine are great prescriptions for turning a day around. Bad weather? Leave the house. Go the mall. Call up a friend for a play date. Get lunch. I’ve even been known to put my kids in the car and drive around so I have some time to think, calm down and make a plan for the rest of the day.
Even if you can’t get outside, find a way to get all your bodies moving. Play music and have a dance party. Race from one side of the house to the other. Jump up and down. Do somersaults in the middle of your living room. Make an obstacle course with dining room chairs and couch cushions. Get a little blood pumping through everyone’s veins!
5. Accomplish something
Sometimes the best way to turn around a bad day is to get something done. Doesn’t if feel good to know you’ve done something productive? Kids love a sense of accomplishment too! So empty the dishwasher together. Pick up the playroom. Change the sheets. Fold a load of laundry and race the folded clothes to the bedrooms to put them away. Acknowledge the accomplishment and genuinely thank your child for helping you.
Get more tips on how to overcome a bad parenting day:
- On Choosing to Turn a Bad Day into a Good One
- Parenting Tip: Be More Carefree
- You’re Not Alone: Parenting Bloggers Don’t Always Follow Their Own Advice Either
- How to Change Bad Habits Effectively
- How I Failed as a Mom… and Why It Wasn’t as Bad as I Thought
Bad days don’t have to stay that way. How do you correct course on a bad parenting day? Let us know in the comments!
Steph Fisher is a mom of two and blogs and stephfishr.com. She writes about simple living, learning, faith and parenting.
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