Family life

How do you salvage a rough day with the kids?

Tracy had a rough parenting week. Here's what you offered up as the best ways to turn things around.

By Tracy Chappell
How do you salvage a rough day with the kids?

The beginning of our caterpillar craft. My girls love crafts, but they never seem to take up as much time as I hope!

On Friday, I posted about my rough week with my girls. The fighting. The whining. The defiance and yelling. When you’re in the thick of it, sometimes it’s hard to see how to climb out of it. I realized after writing that post that I was mad at the girls for being so cranky and difficult. How mature is that? And, of course, letting myself stew in that emotional state meant I couldn’t pull any of us out of our joint bad mood. So we all suffered.
Parents on the Today's Parent Facebook page and Twitter feed had lot of good ideas for me (I’m @T_Chappell). It was a great reminder that we all have days like that, and it’s up to us to turn it around.
On Friday, we hit the park, did a craft, played “school” and built forts. But the best thing (pinch me!) is that my husband surprised us by coming home early. And he told me to go take a nap. Seriously. It was like a secret dream come true. (xoxo)
Here are some great ideas to save a day that’s gone off the rails. Hope you find them useful too!
When I start getting stressed out, the formula is quite simple. Put some music on. Shake your sillies out. Instant mood changer! — Claudia
> We did, and it absolutely helped!
I found that putting my focus back on them for 30-60 minutes is usually enough to get us back on track. The laundry could wait. I could be more productive when they were cooperative, and they were more cooperative when they had already had all of Mommy's attention for a block of time.— Karly
> I believe this was my missing link. Because we weren’t getting along, I struggled to devote undivided attention to the things they wanted to do because I couldn’t get anything I needed to do done. Like Karly said in her longer response, it’s easier to give your kids your time first, then ask them for time, then vice versa.
Leave the room to collect my thoughts and come back calm. — Carol
> They wouldn’t let me be alone! Not. For. One. Minute.
There is a great book, Scream Free Parenting. The title doesn't do it justice, because it is extremely helpful for any parent. As the author says, we all "scream" in different ways, some of us withdraw, etc. The CD version is easy to listen to on the way to work. — Gabriela
> I will check it out. Thanks!
Sing and tell them stories doll! And cook something wid them — maybe a few meatballs! Makes ya all feel good — @auntlenasez
> Sorry, but this cracked me up and I’m willing to try anything by this point. Meatballs? Why not.
Lots of activities outside the house. Swimming, library, park — @MummyMates
> I just couldn’t bear to take them anywhere that required good listening skills, so we made it to the park, but that was the extent of our out-of-house adventures.
Think about the holiday I'm not taking them on in September. — Melody
> Ha – good one. Can I come?
Take a deep breath & find your sense of humour. All phases pass with kids — the good & the bad — @tinameier6

> I agree. If you can put your emotions aside and bring out the giggles, it can completely turn things around. I couldn’t dig that deep and should have tried harder.
Drink. Strong. Wine. Mostly. Red. — @JackieBest00
> I’m more of a white wine girl, but yes, wine o’clock did arrive eventually!
Guilt-free TV time and snuggles! — Jessica
> I admit I handed the remote over to the kids. And joined them on the couch. Anna is in her glory (until the TV goes off) but Avery doesn't stay interested for too long, so this is only a short-term solution for us. But it helped give us some peace.
Give them a hug and think about how much you'll miss it all when they are grown — ?@Jacquie_H_M
> I’m pretty sure I won’t miss this part, but I hear you, Jacquie. Thanks for the reminder.
Do you use any of these great strategies, or have more to share?

This article was originally published on Apr 02, 2012

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