When your child is having a bad day

by Annie

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day What can you do to help your child when they are having a bad day? Firstly as a parent, understand that there is a whole range of  emotional reactions to learning. Negative emotions may include showing anger, anxiety or frustration.

Some children react by avoiding or blaming the task or other people. Others may give the impression of being unenthusiastic or uncooperative.

We may think that negative emotions from our children are bad

I like to think that knowing how you feel is the first step towards changing things for the better.

In my eBook, How to Motivate Your Child, I invite you to share, with your child, an empowering message,  “It’s OK to feel like that.”

Building emotional resiliency

The first step in building emotional resiliency is knowing how you feel. So, believe it or not, there really is an upside for all that pain, grief and drama. Your child is developing an awareness of their feelings and learning to express them.

The next step is dealing with those feelings in a manner which builds up the child’s emotional resiliency. Their ability to bounce back from set backs and know that their “bad day” will pass.

A resource to help 4 to 10 year olds develop an understanding that we all have good and bad days, is Judith Viorst’s classic, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. When everything goes wrong for Alexander, he is consoled that other people have bad days too.

If you live in California, you may be lucky enough to catch the adaption as a live performance by the California Theatre Company. For the rest of us we can buy the book find it in a local library or enjoy with your child this adaptation online.

There are many ways a book like this can help your child, who is having a bad day. You can see some ideas here.

I’ve found Alexander’s plight, opens children up to a lot of spontaneous comments about their own bad days. You could also use these questions as starters:

  • What would you say to Alexander?
  • What could his family have done to help him?
  • Have you ever had a day like this?

and then

  • Retell the story where everything goes right

Sharing ideas for coping with a bad day

  • What can you do if something like this happens to you?

One answer is talk to someone you trust.

I’m interested in what helps your child and their reactions to this hilarious book.

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