Why bad mood busters? As parents, grandparents, or care givers in general, we have all been to that limit. You know the one. The limit where you are so dismayed with your littles’ behavior that you are on the brink of tears (or possibly hiding in the bathroom with chocolate letting those tears flow…shhh, I won’t tell). It can be discouraging to feel like no matter what you try, they are determined to ruin every plan for that day. Or that week. Or the last three weeks. Bad attitudes, toddler meltdowns, and sleepless nights begin to look like your reality. I’m here to help though!
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For our family, those types of days are becoming fewer and farther between but only because I have gotten our 5 bad mood busters down pat. Each time you start to feel the anxiety of wanting to avoid yet another random, unsolicited, “I just can’t express myself yet” meltdown, pause for a moment and try one of these. If none of them work, I will buy you ice cream on our next play date. (The good stuff.) Legit.
This one is honestly the easiest of all five and the quickest. It is amazing how much just a change of scenery and some fresh air can affect our days. A walk around the campground, a trip to the park, riding on their scooters (did you know they have a light up TMNT scooter?!), or even just sitting out front for a few minutes all can bring us back to reality. The downside is though that once they are out there, it can be a challenge to convince them to go back in. You know your kids and their moods. Choose wisely on this one based on what you still need to accomplish for the day.
Play a game.
Easier said than done when you have big kids who love board games but also littles who still swallow anything smaller than a golf ball. My solution for this is to make up crazy games. We have even been known to throw some tape on the floor and create silly rules about rolling balls, jumping in and out, or who can tight rope the best. The tape can go farther and be roads for their cars to drive around on. Along with this one is making sure your littles get some exercise. If they have to stay inside but need to burn some energy to reset then try working in some “jumping goofs” (jumping jacks) or “hoppers” (who can hop in one spot the longest). It is a great distraction to what had them worked up and could possibly mean an early nap time!
Dancing is pretty self explanatory but it is definitely our favorite mood buster. Turn up the jams, shake out those wiggles, and let the endorphins rush through your littles. By the time they’ve gotten through a song or two the tears will be from laughter and the problems forgotten.
My kids think it is absolutely hilarious to paint any part of their body or mine. During the summer, we love to step outside for some fresh air and have fun painting pictures all over each other. Usually we grab a water hose to rinse it all off which leads to some water fun and even more giggles. Seriously, if you’ve never tried it, your kids will love you forever…or until they spot those cookies they want right before dinner.
Make a treat run.
Everyone in our family loves a good treat run. Whether it is a simple stop by Sonic for slushies, a full-blown lunch at Chick-Fil-A, or a desert dash for ice cream somewhere, a treat run is sure to turn our monsters back into princesses. We try not to fall back on treats often and it is never a reward if there is actual bad behavior. This is for when we need a break and they are tired or emotional, not rebelling or acting ugly on purpose. Then again, the best thing about full bellies as a last resort is that they are already tired and will crash afterward. Um, yes, please!
I hope our 5 bad mood busters can help your family out as much as they do ours. Do you have any other tricks and tips that work better for you? I would love to hear some new ideas over on Facebook!