We all have bad days and the vices that help get us through them. Though you may not remember it, you didn’t get there on your own. Growing up, we watch our parents get through their bad days and, hopefully, we learn a healthy way to handle those negative feelings ourselves.
When your child comes home in a bad mood, it may be your first instinct to do whatever you can to make it better. You don’t want to see your child upset and suffering, but sometimes it’s best to let them work through it in their own way. It is not your job to reset their mood and spirit. By trying to solve a problem for your child, you are doing them a disservice. They will never be able to work through problems on their own, if you are always fixing things.
Home should be about unwinding, a natural recovery setting, and, sometimes, your children just need to vent when they get there. They need to throw out all the negativity from the day by telling you everything that went wrong. Ask your child about what happened and, as they speak, do some reflective listening. Encourage them, even when they think it’s the end of the world. Remind them that the feeling isn’t permanent, but allow them to talk through it for as long as they need to. Acknowledge that their feelings are valid and then work together to make a plan for a better tomorrow.
As a parent, you need to develop good communication with your children. Let them come to you on their own when they need to talk out a problem. Don’t force them to talk when they don’t want to. You want them to know they are capable of expressing themselves without you dragging it out of them.
It’s natural to want to fix every problem your child has, but you have to let them rebound. Encourage them to do their favorite activities to feel better. Having them connect with what makes them feel better allows them to learn for themselves how to deal with a bad day. When they’re grown up, they will thank you because they will be much healthier, mentally. They won’t need you to solve every little thing for them, but they still may call you to vent because we all need a little venting session from time to time.