I got a phone call this morning and I was talking about how my 2 and 4 year olds were unintentionally tag-teaming a scream-a-thon. “Why?” was the response. But all I could think is “Anyone’s guess is as good as mine. Because they have big emotions? Because they don’t know how to express themselves? Or maybe they’re just having a bad day?”
It made me think about all the bad days I have and how my kids view my own response and reaction to the situation. There have been times I have been a great role model to show them “Hey, let’s hop into the car and go on a drive to see the ocean; we could use a break.” But other times I have modeled a short temper equivalent to a child’s outbursts.
“You had a bad day, but…” — the word “but” is such an interrupter.
In fact, it can be really negative… BUT it can also help reframe moments of negativity.
When kids come home form school with a bad attitude we could finish the sentence with things like “but maybe a fun game could cheer you up”, “but would you like to go on a walk with me?”, “but I know of a great place to get a snack and chat.”
These examples teach healthy ways to cope.
Related: FREE 7-day “Family Reset” challenge
It allows kids to know they can refocus their attention away from what’s sucking them into negativity, it demonstrates how fresh air and quiet thought is helpful, and it encourages them to talk it out with someone instead of bottling it.
How to turn a bad day into something helpful: What kids can learn from bad days
- Life happens, and bad days are inevitable. But we have the ability to try to turn our circumstances around.
- Responding after thinking about the situation is more powerful than a quick reaction.
- There are people who will sit with you and wallow in your circumstance and others who will empower you; so learn to seek out the motivators and uplifters who understand but help you move past.
More ways to deal with negativity
Need to reframe negativity for your family?
Using the word “SMILE” this is a cheat sheet on how to reframe negative thoughts and words into something more positive for the family to focus on. And it’s an immediate shift from negative to positive!
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!