As much as I’d like to use my remote control to PAUSE then REWIND some challenging moments with my kids, the technology just doesn’t work like that yet.
When we start to spiral into the whine-yell-hit-your-brother-scream cycle, we need something external to stop the seemingly neverending loop. Often one of us will ask for a “Do over” then we hug and try to move forward being less snappish (in my case) or whiny (usually one of them).
We’ve had pretty good success with our do-overs, so I really liked seeing this list of imaginative ways to “Reset” when the kids are having a hard day. Lisa has nine children so I can imagine how handy it is to have a few — TWENTY — tricks up her sleeve to improve the overall mood. Some of my favorites:
8. Tear paper. Sometimes we all just need to do something wild and completely unexpected. So I will give each child 3 pieces of construction paper and we’ll stand in a circle and when I say, “GO!” we all start tearing up our paper and throwing it on the floor. We jump around and scream and laugh and giggle and fall down and throw the paper around for about 5 minutes. Then I say, “STOP!” and we have to clean it up as quickly and silly as we can.
16. Color their name. I write their name in really big, puffy letters and they get 3 Crayons to color it in. No sharing, no trading…just 3 colors…GO!
19. Animals. I sit on the couch and and gather them around, with an arm length between them. Then I call out animals and they have to act like that animal until I change the animal. I might switch it up by calling out a specific child’s name with an animal.
The common denominator of all these activity suggestions is for everyone to pause what they’re doing (especially Mom or Dad!), break the cycle of frustration, and spend a few minutes together being a little silly. I love it. I’m going to stock my mud room with colored paper to tear up right after I finish coloring in my own puffy name.
Do you have any successful mood busting tricks up your sleeve?