5 Ways to Turn Your Kid’s Bad Day into a Great Day


I try not to be discouraged, but it’s becoming more difficult lately.  Stinkpot can have a great day with me or FosterDad, but then suddenly chaos disrupts our lives.

toddler-tantrum-foster-child-trauma-bonding-attachmentWhen our family is together, Stinkpot acts out in the worst ways!

Our guess is that he craves the attachment and bonding of one-on-one time with one parent.  But then sometimes, even if it’s just both parents and him, he changes immediately into Mr. Hyde.

Evenings can be bad, but weekends are becoming the worst! All day!

Drawing on our past experiences with Stinkpot and with some guidance from his play therapist, we are attempting to use these 5 ways to prepare and help Stinkpot cope easier with family time.

1.  Talk every day about his schedule to help him transition from one activity to another.

“Today, Daddy will pick you up from school, then you’ll eat lunch together, then you’ll rock in Daddy’s lap and watch SuperWhy for rest time. After nap, you can play ball together until Mommy comes home with LilBit.”

2.  Countdown until family time.

“2 more days until Saturday when everyone will be home together.”

3.  Plan a special treat to anticipate.

On Saturdays, we plan a simple treat for the boys.  Whether it’s visiting cousins, going to the park after nap, or a Wendy’s Frosty.  (Check with your local Wendy’s to purchase a keychain token to benefit foster children and get a free Frosty at each visit.)

4.  Plan one-on-one time.

Since I’ve returned to work full-time, Stinkpot doesn’t get the Mommy time he craves. My goal is to show Stinkpot excitement to see him when I get home each evening. I plan to run up to him, pick him up and shower him with affection and Mommy kisses as soon as I walk in the door. Our hope is that 10 uninterrupted minutes of laughing and playing with Mommy will give him that daily attachment he desires.

5.  Bring back rocking and cuddling into his daily schedule.

Last year, I participated in One Thankful Mom’s Rockin’ Mama Challenge.  Daily rocking of my hyperactive, then 3-year-old boy had a calming effect to my traumatized child’s demeanor.

Our prayer is that focusing on one-on-one attachment and bonding will help our Stinkpot adjust to sharing time with others in our family.

What are some ways that you suggest in helping our traumatized children?