Do you ever get up in the morning and before you know it, everyone is in a bad mood, the children are fighting and you’ve dished out at least four bollockings before 7am? I’d had one of those mornings, and I heard myself saying to the children in a *slightly* shrill voice “I don’t want to start the day like this, with everyone being cross and snappy and me having to tell you off every five minutes. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get along?” Then my eye was caught by the broken thermostat which we’d been meaning to take of the wall for the last eight years and lo! the child reset button was born.
“I know what kids, shall we all start again?”
“Okay, this is my reset button. When I press it, everyone is going to feel better and we are all going to get along. Five, four, three, two, one…”
*press the button*
I smiled, the children smiled, and I said “Good morning! How wonderful to see you! How are you today?”
We all hugged and the children were absolutely bloody delighted. They were beaming and saying good morning and really enjoying the novelty of this instant forgiveness, and the lighter mood.
In short, it was miraculous. And the more we acted like it really was a new start and we were so happy to see each other, the better we felt. I might have started with gritted teeth but within moments the mood had lifted.
Since then, we’ve used it several times, sometimes for all of us, sometimes for one child when they’re in a funk. The eldest has even come in a couple of times and asked to press the reset button. Because sometimes we get into a negative spiral and it can feel easier to keep going down than to bail out and cheer up. But really, we all need a fresh start from time to time.
I shared my reset button with The Motherload® Facebook group and loads of mums loved the idea and said they would try it too. It doesn’t have to be a broken thermometer of course, it could be anything – you could cut out a circle of cardboard, or just draw one on a post-it note and sellotape it to the door. But the most important thing is to really believe in its power to give everyone a fresh start.