Resetting Crappy Moments

Resetting Crappy Moments

Jan 10, 2024

Follow the Show

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Everywhere else


We all have them, those days when things are going well, you’re having a nice day with the kids and things feel easy…But then a switch gets flipped and everything goes to crap. In this episode, you’ll learn my process for resetting crappy moments so you can get back to feeling calm and connected (and maybe even have a little fun!).

I know firsthand the challenges that come with managing unexpected meltdowns and dysregulated behaviors. Maybe your kid has a tantrum and you have no idea why or you hit your threshold before you even realize you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. Bonus points if you’re at the grocery store, out to eat or visiting someone else’s home.


When Happy Turns to Crappy

This scenario of things escalating quickly is so common. I see it sometimes at restaurants. A family comes in and orders food. The kids are doing fine. They’re occupied while they wait for the food to come and eat it really fast because they’re hungry. Then, they start to act out. 

Mom’s thinking, “All I wanted to do was sit here and enjoy myself. Now my kids are super wild, and I don't know what to do. Do we leave? Do we not leave?” She’s about to lose it (and maybe she does).

The problem here is that the kids now have full bellies. They have energy to burn and don’t know what to do while they sit and wait for everyone else to finish eating. And when mom runs out of patience and becomes harsh or starts to make threats, the situation escalates.


Why Crappy Moments Happen

In these moments, your child's amygdala, the part of their brain that activates the stress response, is sounding an alarm. At the restaurant, it might be triggered by boredom or restlessness. This discomfort causes your child to become dysregulated, so they come up with strategies to communicate or cope with that uncomfortable feeling (like getting noisy or wild with their body). 

They’re feeling a certain way and showing it with their body. But we tend to bypass the emotion and jump straight to “fixing” the behavior. 

When your child is dysregulated and acting out, your brain is going to tell you to start threatening and punishing. To discipline the behavior and get them back in line. It sees their behavior as a threat. But this is not the time for consequences. It will only escalate the situation even more.


Resetting Crappy Moments

The first step is to simply recognize that these moments happened. At first, you might only realize it after the fact, but with practice you’ll learn to see it while it’s happening. 

When you feel like things are going off the rails and your kids are escalating and things are just really hard and feel awful, I want you to take a pause break with everyone. 

When you notice that your child is having feelings about something, take a moment to address it. This might mean pausing a conversation or activity. In the restaurant scenario, you could take the child aside or go sit next to them and calmly say, “We need to talk here for a second.” 

Taking this pause to calm yourself and your child comes from a leadership energy of believing that you are actually in control here. You know what to do. You know how to reset. 

Rather than making commands or threats, turn to your child and connect with them. Either in your own mind or with your kid, narrate what is happening and name the emotion that might be causing it. Then ask them what they’re going to do next. Empower them to make a decision about the next steps. 

Set some limits, and if they can’t hold them, you’ll have to pivot. If that pivot costs you anything (time, money, energy, etc.), it has an impact that you’ll pass back onto your kid later (aka a consequence). 

We don’t let our kids get away with bad behavior. Your child’s feelings are valid, their behavior makes sense, and they're still responsible for the impact of their behavior.

I want your kid’s nervous system (and yours) to calm down before you deliver the consequence. This is what I call delaying a consequence


When you take a beat to regroup, pause, connect and limit set, you are actually teaching your children how to pause and reset themselves. The long-term goal is that our kids will be able to notice when they’re getting dysregulated, they’ll have words for what they’re feeling and they will have healthy ways to cope with those feelings. It’s a life skill that will benefit them forever. 

The process is always the same. You and your kids can learn and practice it right alongside each other. Click here to learn more about upcoming programs and how you can get the tools and support you need. 

As you move through this week and challenging moments come up, ask yourself, “Can I choose my peace in this moment? Can I choose my kid’s emotional well-being in this moment?” 

You’ve got this, Mama! Take a pause, give yourself a chance to reset and start again.


You’ll Learn:

  • Common scenarios when things get off-track and why it happens (I KNOW you’ve experienced some of these!)
  • Why commands and threats usually make things worse
  • My step-by-step process for resetting crappy moments 

Ready to stop yelling?

Get the one simple tool you need to stop yelling at your kids, so you finally feel calmer and connect better. 

You'll learn why you yell, how to stop yourself yelling, 40 things to do instead and scripts for what to say to your kid when you yell.


Connect with Darlynn: