A little story about my 8 year olds WORST DAY EVER and how to Rock YOURS:
A few weeks ago I picked up my eight year old twins from school and one of the twins who usually bounces on over to the car, dragged his feet, got in slowly and slammed the door exclaiming “This was the WORST day of my life!”. As a mom, my heart kind of broke, because let’s be honest, you want your kids to have just good days. As an adult, I kind of laughed thinking, you are eight, what could have possibly been that bad? We had stayed up three evenings before trying to catch up on reading minutes- something that he really struggles with, and he had just traded in his reading logs for beads that morning. He was so proud of himself, and I was so proud of him, and through nights of tears and struggles, he had finally moved up to the next reading level. It should have been a great day. But, he shared what had happened on the worst day of his life: “Someone took my reading beads out of my desk, and I was almost pushed in the mud, yeah, almost right in the mud”.
Immediately, I went into Mom mode, thinking how can I fix this? I asked him, “Do you think you may have misplaced your reading beads? Who do you think took them? Do you want me to call the teacher” He just kind of stared out the window and said, “I don’t know, this day sucks, I am hungry because the lunch was small today, my friend was sick, and I had to be a chicken nugget in gym class”. We were not in problem solving mode. As I listened to him, wondering why the heck the gym teacher had him be a chicken nugget, I realized he wasn’t asking me to fix his day, he was just having a bad one. And he was right, it was his WORST DAY EVER!
Now you don’t know me that well, but basically everything in our home is a cause for celebration, and cake. However, I think I shocked everyone when I said, “Your day really sucked! It’s not often you have your WORST DAY EVER, so lets celebrate!” At first, he said, no way, and went on with a list of even more reasons it was the worst day ever. So, I just validated him. “You almost got pushed in the mud, that really sucked!” “Someone took your beads, I bet they are putting them on their necklace right now, that’s terrible!” “You don’t want to go running with me at the YMCA, I don’t want to run either, must be the worst day ever”. We even started to come up with made up reasons that the day sucked as a family, followed by silly things like “I even had the smelliest fart in class today on the Worst Day Ever”. After about 5 minutes of validation and silliness, everyone was smiling. We even took it a step further and made a list of things that should be included on our Bad Day or Worst Day list (info-graphic to the left). We went on with our evening, stopped for a little cake treat to celebrate the Worst Day Ever, and had a little dance party to “Shake it Off” because it’s simply impossible not to dance to that song, thanks Tay Swift, much love from the Speer’s!
As I as putting my twin to bed thinking to myself “Wow, you are like, an amazing Mom, and pretty awesome human being, you sure turned his day around!” And then he said this, “Mom, today kind of sucked, you tried to be really nice, but someone took my beads, and I got pushed in the mud- almost, and it was just a bad day, my worst day, I hated today.” I just kissed his forehead and said “good thing today is almost over, tomorrow will be better,” and it was.
It’s been a few weeks now, and we still talk about that day from time to time. However, the kids remember the good parts, like when mom said “sucks” and dancing to Shake It Off. We also talk about why it’s so important not to touch other peoples things, and how almost getting pushed in the mud isn’t nearly as bad as actually getting pushed in the mud. The truth is, I would give anything to have that be truly the worst day of my kids life. But we are adults, and know that eventually, he will have another bad day, and as we get older, life gets more serious, and baking a cake, or having a dance party may not be enough to turn it around but, they are a good start!
What are some other ways to stop a Bad Day in it’s tracks? Here is our unconventional list:
1)Make a list of all the bad things that happened today, and then add to them to make them even worse (like our info graphic) Usually by the end the things you are writing are so ridiculous you are in a better mood. Creativity is a blessing and a curse, and I truly believe that creative people are more prone to anxiety because they can dream up quickly a million worse case scenerios!
2)Cry, really hard. Watch the saddest thing you can find on You Tube, turn on a St. Jude Telethon, Whatever it takes to get tears! Sometimes the release of emotion is enough to get you back on track. Now, don’t find a sad place and live there all day, just put on some sad dog adoption videos and set a timer for 5 minutes. Cry it out, and get back to life.
3)Dance Party. For real, just do it. Start with something cheesy… DANCE.
4)Pity Party. Pick up a cake, pick up a friend, pick up a a bottle of wine (Moms), and throw yourself a pity party. Again, Set a timer, one hour to be as ridiculously pitiful as you can, and boom- DONE!
5)Exercise nothing turns a bad day around like a fast run or some eye candy. So, get on over to gym, find the treadmill with a view (of the cute men lifting) pop in some hardcore metal, and get to sprinting.
Still need some uplifting tricks- check out this list from Tiny Buddha about how to turn around a bad day in 10 minutes of less here.