Crabby Day Reset: Ripping Paper

by Wendy Copley on July 2, 2012

Rip Paper -- Fix bad moods

We’re having a heck of a day.

Wyatt is home from camp because of an infected bee sting on his foot. He can’t walk, he’s crabby as all get out and he’s spreading his dark mood around to the rest of us. Things came to a head after lunch and the kids were bickering, hollering and calling each other names. Everyone was frustrated and near tears and something had to be done.

In a moment of serendipitous recall I remembered an excellent post from The Pennington Point that I read a few weeks ago. It shared twenty ways to reset kids’ bad moods and one of the many gems was to “tear paper”.

I pulled a bunch of paper out of the recycling, dragged my crying/angry kids out to the living room and we tore that paper to shreds. At first the boys didn’t know what to think, but it only took them a few seconds to get into it. I encouraged them by telling them to “Rip it! Rip it good!” over and over again and it wasn’t long before I realized we needed to use the song “Whip It!” by Devo as a soundtrack. I sang along with the music and changed all the “whips” to “rips” and pretty soon we were dancing, ripping and throwing the paper in a big pile on the floor. Oh, and we were also smiling.

Recycling + Devo = happier kids. They even agreed to pose for the staged crabby photo above!

(They were slightly less happy when it was time to clean it up, but having a clean-up race helped a bunch.)

What’s your strategy to turn a crabby day around?

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  • badmansard

    When my kids are crabby I ask them about what kind of birthday party they want. Even if their birthdays are months away.

  • http://www.wendolonia.com/blog wcopley

    Excellent idea! I’m going to try that myself.

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  • Amy Johnson

    I love that you got this from Lisa–she’s a local bloggy friend of mine–have you met her at a conference before? And I’ll definitely be keeping this in mind next time my kids are crabby–I don’t think I have my own bag of clever tricks–well, tickling works sometimes ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/penningtonpoint Lisa Southworth Pennington

    Hello! I love that mock picture…their little “angry” faces crack me up. Aren’t boys so much fun? Thanks for the mention. I’m so glad you used one of the ideas. I hope the bee sting healed up by now. Lisa~

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  • Emma Craig

    I’m going to have to try this with my 4-year-old (who seems to be more crabby than usual lately!)

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