Let’s be real, not every day goes as planned with a toddler. Ok, let’s be really real, MOST days don’t go as planned with a toddler. And while three year olds can be some of the sweetest creatures on the planet, some days are just plain bad.
Occasionally I find Eleanor and I getting caught in the revolving door of tantrums and time outs, and it’s obvious that we’re going nowhere fast.
And since neither of us truly wants to spend an entire day spinning in and out of the time out chair, I’ve figured out 4 ways to reset a bad day:
Change Your Environment
The quickest and easiest way to snap out of a bad spiral is to change our environment. Sometimes it’s as simple as moving from playing on the main floor to the basement. Bad habits tend to fall away and we’re able to have a fresh start. Moving somewhere else in the house is great, but the best bet is to transition to some outdoor play. Fresh air does wonders for a sour mood.
Never underestimate the power of a sticker chart. We’re currently working on reinforcing several behaviors with Eleanor, so we’re rewarding positive behaviors with stickers. We divided the day into 2 parts and she has the opportunity to earn a sticker in both the morning and the afternoon.
Even when we have a tough morning, Eleanor knows there’s still hope to turn it all around and earn her afternoon sticker. At lunch I’ll excitedly talk about how great it will be to add to the sticker chart, and it helps set the tone for the rest of the day. I made this chart (pictured below) for Eleanor and linked up a blank copy for you to download and print if you’d like to use it :)
Crank Some Tunes
In the midst of a rough day, I’m sure the last thing Eleanor wants to hear is the sound of my voice… again. Turning on music is an instant mood booster in our house. It fills the room with positivity and often leads to dancing, singing, giggling, and a lot of fun.
Break Out Something Different
I keep certain puzzles, games and art supplies out of the girls’ reach (mostly because my house would be chaos if they could get into them), so if I need a good distraction, I’ll pull out something a little different / out of the ordinary to play with. I certainly don’t want to reward poor behavior, but these types of activities really seem to do the trick. Having something novel to do is often enough to get Eleanor engaged. And because these activities are often more complex, they’re something we do together – which is really a win-win!
So tell me mamas, how do you restart a bad day?
Beautiful photo of Eleanor taken by Ashley Nicole Photography