I planned to take the kids to the Building for Kids today, the awesome children's museum in Appleton that features a working crane, mini-Kwik Trip station and waterworks room. The day was free, it had been awhile since we'd gone on a big excursion, and I was looking forward to a day of fun with the kids.
Instead, we stayed home.
Sons #2 and 3 threw a fit when they found out their friends wouldn't be joining us today (due to other commitments). Son #2 then took out his anger and frustration by yelling, very loudly and not very nicely, at Son #3 when he played the piano. When I told him that it's OK to be mad and frustrated, but not OK to take that anger out on others, he yelled at me. (Again, very loudly and not very nicely.)
After settling things down, I went up to take a shower -- only to hear things erupt once again. Seems Son #4 was hugging Son #2 in an attempt to make him feel better, so Son #2 told Son 4 to hug Son #3 (which 2 KNOWS 3 doesn't like). That ended in Son #4 hitting Son #3. Cue the shrieking and yelling.
After taking care of THAT situation, I headed to wake up Son #1. Sons 2 and 3 assured me that he was already up and that they would tell him we were getting ready to go. Instead, they went in his room, sat on his bed, hit him around the head with a little stuffed animal and threatened to throw his camera at him if he did not get up.
When Son #1 came downstairs and, for no reason other than retaliation, whacked Son #2 in the head with a stuffed animal while he was making sandwiches for said field trip, I was done. After a quick phone consultation with hubby, I told the boys that there would be no museum today. Next week, we'll try again.
Of course, that meant I was faced with a long day at home with 4 crabby boys. I knew I needed to turn the day around, and fast.
Step 1) Send them outside. Yes, it's cold, but I know my boys. They needed something completely different to do, a change of scenery and a chance to burn off some energy. After bundling them up, I sent them out for 20 min. or so.
Step 2) Have a plan. I told the boys we'd have hot chocolate when they came inside. They also wanted me to read more Harry Potter, so we read aloud while having our snack. By the time our snack was done, we were back on an even keel.
How do you turn a bad day around? For some more tips, click here.