No Bad Days—

—and fewer bad moments

I had only been online a couple of years when someone on AOL wrote one of the best things ever, and it changed my life the moment I read it. She said she didn't think of a day as "bad," as she didn't want to condemn or write off a whole day. She said she would just think "I had a bad moment."


A couple of months ago, my 4-year-old and I had been wrangling all day—we just couldn't get into each other's groove. He was fussy, I was impatient, he was whiny, I was cranky. We were struggling and struggling. Finally, it was time to cook dinner, which he always likes to help with. I got out whatever ingredients I needed, and he pulled his stool over to the kitchen counter, and we started measuring and stirring and slicing. I was standing half behind him, and he suddenly leaned his head back against my chest and said, "We're having a good day, aren't we? I like cooking with you. We're having fun. We always have fun." It transformed the whole day for me to hear that he was experiencing it so differently—or that that moment of cooking together had redeemed the whole rotten thing.

You've talked before, Sandra, about this idea of thinking about moments instead of days and it has maybe not changed my life but it has changed a lot of my days. I used to decide by, say, 11 a.m. that we were having a "rough day." Anybody ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? Now, no matter how rough the moment gets, I remind myself that the next moment is a whole new chance at something good. And it's amazing how often magic comes two minutes after I was thinking I was going to have to chuck the whole thing and go back to bed.

—Su Penn

Living in Moments Rather than by Whole Days

Gradual Change

Peaceful Parenting


More Parenting Considerations