7 tips to restart a bad day with kids

Monday, January 9, 2017 2:27 pm
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Kat Eggleston | 98five blogger

I bought tickets to take my kids outdoor ice skating with their cousins. I announced it was time to get ready and this was one reply: ‘I DON’T WANT TO GO! I’M NOT GOING!’

I was surprised at the negative reaction.

“Well, we’ve already paid $95 for our tickets and we have to leave in one hour to make it on time. You can just watch while the rest of us skate,” I told them.

Then another of my kids wanted to wear 3/4 leggings. I explained it would be freezing and that they needed long pants on. They then had a meltdown for one hour, and still didn’t put the freakin’ pants on!

Yet another was reluctantly getting ready at snails’ pace.

And, my youngest just whinged for the entire hour…because everyone else was.

The resistance was unbelievable. I would have just cancelled but the tickets were non-refundable and the cousins were meeting us there. So the kids got in the car crying and carrying on, and hadn’t even eaten breakfast. I could tell this was going to be a bad day. We were going to be 20 minutes late. Our session went for 50 minutes. I was going to all of this effort so they could ice skate for half an hour!

I was very frustrated. As we drove off I said, “I hope you enjoy ice skating today, because we are never, ever going ice skating in the school holidays again”.

But, we did manage to have a good day in the end. So how do you turn a bad day around?

ice-skating-elijah Kat Eggleston

Lighten the mood with humour or music. I put on an audiobook in the car titled, George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl. It’s hilarious and helped to lighten the mood. The next time you’re having a bad day and you have to travel in the car, put something funny on to help you all smile again. Otherwise, listening to songs like ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams helps too.

Deep breaths. While the kids were listening to the audiobook, I was breathing deeply to help me calm down.

Gratitude. As hard as it is, the best cure is to be grateful. Count the things you are grateful for, e.g. I’m grateful for this car that I’m driving right now, I’m grateful for my healthy kids, I’m grateful that I get to see my sister today, I’m grateful that it is sunny today because we will be outdoors, etc. and keep counting (find at least 20 things) until you start to feel better.

Forget the time. I could have spent the rest of the car trip freaking out about the time and working myself up in to a real state. So instead, I just said to myself, It is OK. It’s not ideal to be running late, but in the grand scheme of the universe it’s not the end of the world. We’re all still going to be able to spend time with the cousins, which is the whole point of today. If you have done your best and things aren’t going your way, just forget about the time and release yourself from guilt. You will get there when you get there and stressing out isn’t going to get you to your appointment any sooner. You will just end up with a stressful speeding fine.

Mentally restart the day. In your mind, let go of what has happened. Yes, the kids were feral and don’t deserve this ice skating treat. Yes, you should have just spent the $95 on yourself ?. Is being angry for the whole day going to benefit anyone? Don’t allow the day be a write-off. Each day is a gift, and just because this one started out as a bad day, it doesn’t mean it has to end that way. Some days, you may have to restart several times. Regardless of how many times you have to do it, wipe the slate clean, reset and restart.

Circuit breaker. On a bad day it feels like your kids bicker all day long. You need a circuit breaker. Our lifesaving circuit breaker on this day was Aunty Berna. She is such a fun-loving aunty and my kids were so excited to see her. We were in hysterics just by hanging out with her and forgot to be grouchy. Sometimes you need a circuit breaker, like a super cool Aunty.

ice-skating-aunty-berna Kat Eggleston

Reflection. It is a good idea to reflect on why the day started out so negatively. I realised we were all really tired because we were so busy the day before. I realised that I had booked a session time that was a bit too early for us. The next time you find yourself having a bad morning, reflect on how you may have contributed to it. Then you’ll know what to change for next time.

ice-skating-ash Kat Eggleston

So it wasn’t such a bad day after all! We ended up having an awesome day and created some amazing memories that will last a lifetime.

ONLINE USE_Kat Eggleston profile photoKat Eggleston is a stay-at-home mum of four and is passionate about making a difference. As a singer-songwriter (Ezereve), $35K has been raised through her music for charities that rescue children from trafficking. While auditioning live for the X Factor judges in 2016, Kat had a revelation that the best way to make a difference, was by being the best mum she could be. Kat is a parenting blogger, regular parenting columnist for the Northern Valleys News, and facilitates the ‘Setting up Generations’ Facebook group to support mums on their journey through motherhood. ezereve.com/blog | Follow Kat on Facebook | Instagram |Twitter

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