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Everyone has a really bad day sometimes. Have you ever read the book about Alexander’s? I love it. It helps us to see those bad days aren’t wrong and that the people having them aren’t bad. Sometimes people just feel bad for some reason. Sometimes we are just tired or even burned out. Click here to see how to avoid burnout.
What do you do in your daycare or home when you have a no-good day? I know I have them sometimes. And I get all cranky and upset. I might act grouchy or be quiet. Just like Alexander in the book!
How to turn around a bad day
There are many things we can do to turn around a no-good day. My favorite way to combat stinky no good day feelings is to give out free hugs. I open up my arms and shout out “free hugs” and anyone who wants to hug me can run into my arms.
Nine times out of ten, the kids form a line for this. Everyone loves free hugs. I have some older children that have left my care. Even now when I see some of them, they shout out free hugs to me.
If I see someone having a particularly no good day, I will shout it then too. Their faces usually light up. If they don’t seem in the mood for all of that, I simply ask them quietly, do you need a hug. Usually they say yes and usually they feel better afterward.
The other day I was reading an article about hugging and it stated that you have to hug for at least 6 seconds to start seeing extra benefits from your hugs. I love that. The longer you hug the more things it does to your body.
You will feel your shoulders drop, your breathing slow and as you let yourself melt into that hug, you will feel better. Actually, there is a physical response and you do feel better. Isn’t that amazing?
I think it’s super important to bring up here that if children do not want a hug or want to hug someone, they should never be made to do it. Each child should be taught that their body is their own and they should be able to choose who touches them.
Keep that in mind when Johnny doesn’t want to hug Aunt Ruth. What you teach them about appropriate touch and consent will continue to grow as they do. What message do you want to send?
How to get over a bad day at work
I have done things like fall over and crack up laughing. This usually makes all the kids laugh too. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in a room full of giggling children, I can’t stay grouchy. They can’t either.
Tickle treatment is another method we have for the grumpies. I say, do you need a tickle treatment and then I will softy tickle them until they giggle. Of course, if they say no, I won’t do it, but kids usually like being tickled.
What about a dance party? That’s a great remedy for the grumps on a no-good day. Turn up the music and get your jam on. I love to dance with the kids. It’s pure joy.
Change directions. You can stop what everyone is doing and read the kids a story or sing some fingerplays with them. You can have them pick up the toys and get out something new to do like puzzles or playdough. This even works when they are being too rowdy and it starts to make me nervous. I will say, pick up the toys and let’s have an activity or let’s go outside and it totally changes the direction of the day.
I’m having a bad day
If you’re still too grumpy or the kids aren’t getting any better, turn on some shows and give yourself a break. I only let the kids watch a movie or OETA public television because I think commercials are awful for them, but you do you. Whatever works for you. There is nothing wrong with a few minutes of a 30-minute show to change the mood.
There are lots of great books to help with grumpy days, check some of these out, I know you’ll love them!
In childcare we are with these kids for 10 or more hours a day. That’s a long time to keep the peace and have fun without any problems coming up. If you have a rough patch in your day, give yourself a stinkin break. You are rocking the rest of the day. Give YOURSELF a hug if you need to, and restart your direction. A bad incident doesn’t have to turn into a bad day.
How to improve a bad day
You are the one who directs how the day will go, so keep in mind to not let a no-good few minutes turn into a no-good day. You are blessed to get to be with your kids all day and care for them and influence their future. Make the very best of it you can. Of course, every minute is not going to be perfect or pleasurable, but most of it can be if you keep your perspective in the right place.
Hugs for you for what you do. You are raising the future and I’m proud of you and appreciate what you are doing. I hope your parents tell you that, but if they don’t, remember that I think so. You are awesome! High five!
Moms and Dads, I’m talking to you too! This isn’t just for childcare providers, you are caretakers too. Anyone can fix their grumpies with these awesome moves.
Now go rock your day!