How to help a child RESET After a Bad Day
How can I help my kid bounce back?
When a bad day hits, it hits indeed! Like adults, kids also experience bad days, and they are never shy to show! It is highly likely that you have had some days when everything is flowing just fine for your day, only for your child to step through the door all worked up, frustrated, angry, and with no trace of calmness. At that moment, most parents want to fix the problem right away. A parental instinct is to reset your child’s spirit and mood as quickly as possible to move forward into a new space.
Bad days are bound to occur once in a while for every child. However, giving your child a chance to work through their issues or challenges will build their strength for a lifetime!
Seven effective ways to support your child reset after a bad day.
“Breathe. It’s only a bad day, not a bad life.”Johnny Depp
1. Let Your Kids Vent When They Need To.
Sometimes your child does not want you to try and fix their problem or offer a solution; they want to vent! All they want is to offload their emotions and anger. Receiving unending advice can create a feeling of being judged when all they wanted was someone to listen to them. By interrupting them when they are venting about their bad day, remove the safe space of venting in peace!
Listening is a significant activity in parenthood, whether your child is only three years old or is heading to adulthood. When you listen carefully, with empathy and interest, you send a message that you care, understand, accept, and are emotionally available. On the other hand, failure to listen to your child causes them to be reluctant to confide with you in the future, causing them to look for external emotional connections.
2. Validate your child’s feelings.
Validation is a way to let someone know that you understand them. Being understood facilitates feelings of connection and support. The biggest misstep a parent can make for their child having a bad day is undermining their feelings. Some parents bluntly tell their children without much thought, “it is nothing” or “you are making too much out of it.” If you rush off your child without validating their feelings, you give them room to react by using negative behaviors and emotions to get your attention.
By validating your child’s feelings, you show them that they are essential and understand what they are undergoing. However, you can only fully understand your child, especially on their bad days, when you control your impulses and desire to give advice. Validation comes without judgment, hence the need to minimize lectures and criticism. All you need to do is acknowledge their feelings and take them seriously.
3. Avoid Criticism:
It is common for a parent to make a negative comment when trying to dig into what is causing a bad day for their children. For example, statements such as “what did you do to cause the boy to hit you?” Unfortunately, forget about further communication once you use accusations on an already stressed child. As a result, your child develops a negative belief about themselves that may affect them throughout their lives. Other consequences of using criticism on children include hopelessness, low self-esteem, anger, and stress.
4. Empathize with them:
When your child comes home from school cranky and sad, you try cheering them up but fail; offer a shoulder to lean on and fully empathize with them. Remind yourself that they are vulnerable, and all they want is your love and support. You don’t have to agree with your child’s perspective to show empathy and compassion. Hold or hug your child if they break down into crying, and give them enough time to calm doing. Empathizing with your child will make them feel loved, which will help them overcome their emotions.
5. Encourage Positive “Self-talk.”
“When you fall down, just get up again.”Lindsey Vonn.
If your child keeps saying things like “I am not smart enough” “I am not beautiful enough,” he is engaging in negative “self-talk.” Children with such an attitude react exaggeratingly to any form of criticism since they don’t believe in themselves. To counter this attitude, constantly speak positively about the child until they believe it. Also, encourage them to talk simply about themselves. For example, tell them to speak loudly about their strengths and remind them of past successes. Practicing positive talks helps children believe in themselves, hence easily overcoming any form of failure or attack.
6. Alter the Routine
A break is always as good as a rest! Breaking from the routine can distract your child from exhaustion and negative feelings. It is also a sign that you understand what they are going through and care about their experience. You can, for instance, forgo some evening duties and go for a walk, read an exciting book together, or have some frozen yogurt. You may also consider ending a stressful day with a healthy meal and sleeping early. A good rest can help your child relax, be refreshed, and have new vigor to face a new day.
7. Encourage Deep Breathing:
Inhale. Exhale. Everything is going to be okay. Actually, it’s going to turn out better than okay, you’ll see.– Unknown.
If your child is four years and above, they can learn deep breathing exercises to release stress. With your help, please encourage your child to inhale deeply four times and then count to four as they slowly exhale. Let them repeat the action until they feel calm.
Should parents vent to their kids when having a bad day?
While it is okay for children to vent to their parents, parents should not vent to their children. According to psychologists, parents who continuously confide in their children risk damaging their long-term emotional well-being. Isolated incidents of having a bad day at work may not cause harm to your child. However, engaging them in too much adult talk, like you do with your peers, forces them to play parental roles that could overwhelm their minds and emotions.
IN A NUTSHELL:
A parent’s reaction toward their child’s behavior shapes their response system by realizing that every behavior is communication and that your child is trying to communicate something but doesn’t know how. For example, maybe your child is having a bad day because they are tired, stressed, or frustrated, so they show it through being cranky; finding the best practices in your home shapes the outcomes individually for children and as a family for any rough day.
Be happy, not because everything is good, but because you can see the good in everything. – Unknown
Kids on Yard have a fantastic parent coaching program that helps parents in the parenthood journey. The coaching program, by design, provides insights, helps parents discover newfound energy in their parenting, develops an appreciation for what they have and who they are, and creates sustainable ways to achieve their vision or dream for their family. Unlike therapy, coaching allows us to become your cheerleader, guide, and mirror.