Sometimes a bad day happens and it is amplified by the fact that it isn’t just a bad day, it is another bad day, with yet another meltdown. That if you have any time and energy left after fighting the bad day to look for help that you are met with either a brick wall or blame. It seems that this blame seems to occur more when there do not seem to be any answers – instead of just saying sorry we sympathise but we do not know what to do. Throwing In the towel of despair will not help anyone so trying to find the positives will help a lot.
I try to think about what may be causing the bad day. Is it a change in routine – such as a new school, Christmas (is a big one), Easter, school holidays, a new baby, a change of house. For me, the easiest ways to deal with them are to tell myself that they will not last forever. Actually once the routine returns things will be easier. It helps by trying to make things as normal and routine as possible. I simply found over the holidays that keeping busy was enough to distract him from feeling anxious. Are their needs being met? –have they moved about enough that day, do their clothes feel right, is it too noisy, not bright enough. If not is there anything that can be done to help meet their needs.
Focus on their achievements – try to at least focus onsomething positive each week. When days are hard I can just remind myself about how far he has come. His language development, how he is getting himself dressed, putting on his own shoes, learning to listen, wait, eating better and try to empathise with others. He was angry at school yesterday and he locked himself in the toilet (by standing behind the door). His one to one managed to get him to come out and I am proud to say that he apologised – what an achievement that is. He is back in group swimming lessons now, and he is doing so well that I am able to take my other two children into the main pool and swim at the same time.
Think about others. Could your situation be worse? Sometimes thinking about how things aren’t actually that bad do help. Maybe looking back and asking yourself if this is your worst day. Then maybe if the answer is yes then tomorrow could be a better day. Remember you probably aren’t alone and there are many other parents in a similar situation. This is especially useful if it has been suggested that you “attend a parenting course,” which is something I hear of a lot.
Make time for yourself – don’t forget that you are important too. Whether that is looking after your health – not skipping on breakfast, to getting some quiet time to read a book, have a bath.
What about you? How do you handle a bad day? Are there any strategies that help the child? What about ways to help you deal with the day?