While travelling for a week with 4 ½ year old T an invention came to mind, then to life. Her and I were on the road together before, so I could plan the journey accordingly, fitting it around her comfort-zones whenever possible. But not every grump can be avoided and I like to avoid malicious threats and persuasive treats when I can.
We saw good friends, fitted in cakes and ice creams, fun adventures and – at least on her side – plenty sleep. We stayed at four different flats in eight days, all hosts were friends (still are, fortunately) and have small kids too. It was thanks to their great Gastfreundschaft that we had a good time.
The invention can be a day-saver when a foul mood looms on the horizon. It is called the Bad Mood Box and I recommend you get yourself one, be it for your child, a fellow moody adult or personal use. For the mobile version you will need an empty matchbox (there is no size-limit, building giant ones for communal/global use probably would be advisable).
The use is self-explanatory, the crucial element is to get the timing right. When tactically introduced in answering a minor huff, or at the early stages of a major grump, it will function perfectly. Offer the slightly opened box to the grumpster and exclaim with determination “put your bad mood away”, with a bit of luck it will evoke a cheeky smile and instant relief. The box should be shaken or put away in a safe place so it can do it´s magic and dissolve the bad mood instantely.
I think nothing of forbidding to voice a bad mood, or any mood for that matter. But if sometimes it can be adressed, channeled and idealy transformed before getting a vicious circle that´s hard to escape, then even the better.
I´d say at least 3 out of 5 times the act of considering the bad mood as something like a mask and taking it off works, stress disappears and you can turn everything around. For the other 2 times there´s still “No TV!” and “Chocolate?”.
PS: This way of disposing the grump-clump of course has it´s origins in an incident described previously, but is fairer from a humanistic point of view.