With the number of girls in our house, it’s inevitable that someone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed several mornings a week. We like to rotate through so as not to jam up any one morning with too many grouchy pants, which can be good since the rest of us can absorb the craziness, or bad since you don’t double up your efforts on any one day meaning you space it out and have to deal with it more often. Hmmm. Anywho… here are the steps I employ to make sure I’m sending Susie Sunshines to school instead of Pouty Patties.
1. Confront the issue head-on. Give a big lecture about how happiness is a choice and the weather isn’t in my/our control so we might as well get over the fact that we have to wear pants and not shorts to school today. (or whatever is bothering your child)
2. After a lecture doesn’t work, tell her to get over it in a stern voice because obviously I am going to have to choose happiness for her since she can’t get there herself.
3. Realize combatting grouchiness with grouchiness breeds more grouchiness and switch tactics.
4. Tell a knock-knock joke that only your son thinks is funny because clearly your daughter is too cool to laugh at knock knock jokes.
5. Ask her about the fun she had at the birthday party she attended over the weekend. Specifically, what was it like to ride on a camel?
6. Tell a story from your own life/childhood that relates. This morning – me riding on an elephant with my cousins when I was about her age.
7. Read morning devotional and pray with kids.
8. Send smiling children off with a kiss.
The real tactics here:
1. Get them out of their head (have them list 5 things they’re grateful for…. if they’re really obsessing have them list 5 things that are going right in their lives. This employs another set of emotions).
2. Help them change emotion by getting them to think of something happy they’ve done… a good memory, a great meal, a favorite person.
3. Move them to a happy place with a story of your own life… this helps them relate to you as a person, deepens bonds, and gives them a generally good feeling of belonging.
4. Not employed this morning, but also works: have a tickle fest, a water fight, an impromtu dance party.
What do you do to help brighten spirits in your house?