When Kids Ruin Your Day

Most days, we are a fun, happy family who have our little sibling moments, but overall are always smiling. Most days, fits are contained and we move on quickly. Most days, we don’t affect the moods of those around us. Today is not like most days.

The grouchy monster appeared this morning and infected my middle minion! We were doomed from the start.

First, there was too much milk poured into her bowl of cereal, though there truly was not enough at all to cover 1/4 of what was in her bowl. This resulted in immediate tears and my asking her to go upstairs to restart the day. Next, while playing, she couldn’t find her bag that she put toys in and insisted her brother took it though he was in another room playing. Tears again! The madness. Then, school drop-off… {Oh yes, it was this bad before school.}

We have two options in the morning at school: I can drop the kids off at the door or I can park and walk them up. For several days now we have been doing drop-off as 2 out of 3 kids prefer this. Since my middle minion had a rough start to the day, I decided to park as she prefers walk up.

Bad choice.

The moment we got to the door, tears were pouring because she wanted to come with me. We have had this battle at the door before and the result is typically a teacher calling her teacher to escort her to her classroom.

I know that kids have bad days. I know that our routine was busted this week as the kids had a day off yesterday {Tuesday} and they were with me all day. I know that two minutes after being in her class she was fine. But that didn’t stop it from ruining my entire morning.

I was frustrated and could not get out of the funk for several hours. What was worse was that my youngest was with me and saw how sad I looked. He was overly affectionate and a very good listener {byproduct of seeing a sibling misbehave}, and yet I could not get happy. Luckily, we were at the library.

I checked out some books about bad moods – When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry  and The Bad MoodNext, we went to the store. I saw a sale on Pumpkin Spice creamer and promptly placed it in my cart. Ahh… A simple joy that makes me smile.

Now, to pick up my grouchy girl. Time to talk it out and see what we can do to prevent this from happening again. {I don’t like being grouchy – the mood actually makes me angry!}

In our family, we talk a lot about how we can turn our bad mood around. It just so happened that this week is “Monster Week” in our at-home lessons. Last year, I printed these free Emotion Cards and after picking up my middle minion from Kindergarten, we talked some more about them.

She proudly announced, “I know how to get out of a bad mood! I go to my room and listen to music or read a book or play with my baby.” This is great, but what if we are not home? What if you are in a bad mood in public? Silence…

I read When Sophie Gets Angry and the story illustrated how Sophie overcomes her anger in a positive way. The reality is that everyone gets angry, but it is not OK to affect other people’s moods simply because you are in a bad mood. This tied in perfectly with our next story.


The Bad Mood tells of a badger who wakes up grumpy and actually insists upon making certain that everyone knows he is in a bad mood. After some time passes, he is no longer in a bad mood but all of his friends are and he can’t for the life of him figure out why. He talks with a different friend and discovers that he must have passed his bad mood onto others and he takes the initiative to apologize for his earlier behavior.

This opened a good discussion for all the kids and me. We talked about how we need to try really hard to recognize that we are in a bad mood and then work to overcome it. If we are out in public, we could try singing or counting as fast as we could {this works best for kids learning to count to 100 and insist upon counting super-fast every chance they get!}.

In all this discussion too, I was able to completely calm down and remind myself of the things that make me get into a better mood.

Here’s a quick list of my sure-fire smiles:

  • Any music playlist including Aqua, Black-Eyed Peas, Shakira, or Spice Girls.
  • Looking at pictures. If I am home, old pictures. If I am out, my phone is filled 🙂
  • Thinking of a smile. I know that might sound silly, but try it. It may work for you too!
  • Simple joys. Remember that Pumpkin Spice creamer? Simple and effective!
  • Being productive! Be it by writing or working on a project, crossing something off my to-do list puts me in a good mood.

Think about yourself. What is on your list of sure-fire smiles? How about your kids?

I know these days happen. That grouchy monster randomly stops by. With the right tools, though, hopefully his stay will be short and he won’t affect others with his grouchiness.

Have a nice great day!!!


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