Everyone has bad days. It seems as if the world is conspiring against you and there is no escaping. On these days, you wake up and your day is on a downward spiral – everything goes wrong all at once; not only in your own life, but also in the life of every little person who lives in your house. Not to mention the computers, the pet dog and the sewage! Yep. We all know bad days.
The trick to making these bad days work with you and not against you is to recognise what is going on. The quicker and the earlier you are honest with yourself about where this day is heading the better for you and for your family.
“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.” –Napoleon Hill: American Author, Speaker, Motivational Writer.
Though I object to the word “Defeat”, (I am an optimist) in a sense that is what happens on these days. We have plans, good plans, plans that have worked in the past but today – those plans are not going to be successful. Instead of wafting along, struggling to reach those plans regardless, or in spite of, we need to refocus for the day, and be clear of our ultimate goals – to grow in relationships with God and man, to grow in wisdom and serve others.
Recognise the Bad Day
In hindsight we are very clear what went on but in the midst of a bad day things are not that clear; we wonder what is going on, how this is happening and we have no idea what to do about it. It is helpful to think now, on a good day, what does happen on your bad days and to make a plan. What are your parameters for a good day, when does it cross over to a bad day? For me the number one bad day boundary is when I find myself yelling at the kids. Something has to change – NOW!
Get Relationships Right
It is often the friction in relationships that indicates a bad day so before anything else can happen, people have to be loving towards each other – this includes me! You may have to take some time out from each other to work on attitudes, to be prepared to forgive and love, or there maybe a need for a big group hug! Take as long as it takes, relationships can’t be rushed but they are oh so precious.
Spend time With God
Depending on the ages of your children you may or may not be able to do this privately. There is great benefit from saying to your kids, “Let’s sit down and read God’s Word together” and/or “Pray together”. I have often found turning on worship music (not entertainment music, even if Christian, but worship music) to be a great calmer of the heat and confusion of such a day.
Ditch the Day
To ditch the day means to re-write priorities for your day. What are THE most important things to get done today? First there is the relationships with each other, can everything else wait? Maybe and maybe not, but it is worth a quick review of your day to really find out. Believe me, our children are going to remember the relationship moments we make with them far more than the educational efforts we make. We need to be able to let go of our lesson plans if things get a little shaky around us.
Thankfulness is always a great attitude adjuster.
Beat the Bad Days
When we take that brave step and do something to fix the bad day often the circumstances don’t really change. The kids are still tired, the dishwasher is still leaking, the power is still out, and the fish are still dead! It is not about the circumstances, it is about our relationships with our children. Can we rescue this day and, by changing our expectations and focus, make a day to remember.
I am not talking about fancy parties, and memorable trips to the Theme parks. I am thinking more about the way that the children remember how their family deals with pressure. How their family works together and cares for each other in practical ways. How their family huddles together and comes out smiling. At the end of the day do you want to be talking about the tears over math workbooks or hearing “I love you” from each of your children?
Yes, bad days happen and they take their toll but if we are wise we can go with it, not fight it, and as a result – beat those bad days!
By Belinda Letchford; previously published in Live life With Your Kids Newsletter. Reposted with permission.