Aiming to be happier families.

“Why are you drawing sad faces Mommy?”

Picture created by: Stuart Miles

My daughter was definitely not a morning person when she was two and a half.

Every morning she would wake up at about 8:00 am and would either have a face like thunder or would be miserable and whine. Fortunately she used to eat, bath and go back for another sleep at 10:00am, after which she was cheerful.

Those two hours felt like ten and no matter how I tried, I could not change her mood.  I got to the stage where I began to dread her waking up and I used to want to leave her in the bath until she was ready for her sleep resulting in her resembling a prune.

One morning I went in to find her sitting up in bed, her face all screwed up as usual so I picked up a piece of paper, drew her expression and stuck the piece of paper on her cupboard door. Without saying a word, or trying to cheer her, I took her to the kitchen, fed her and put her in the bath.

Somehow, drawing that picture made me feel better and so I did it again the next day… and the next.

On the fourth day, as I finished drawing the picture, a little voice from behind me said: “Why are you drawing sad faces Mommy?”

I looked at her and replied, “Because that is the face I see when I come in every morning, that is what your face looks like.”

Nothing further was said and I again took her to the kitchen, fed her and put her in the bath.

The next morning, when I walked in she was sitting up in bed, smiling at me. I proceeded to draw a smiley face on the sheet.

After a few more days she was pulling funny faces for me to draw and was laughing.

I have since used this idea over and over in different ways to change little habits that children get into and even adapted it to adjust obnoxious behaviour in a teenager.

Picture created by: Deni



31 August 2011 - Posted by | Parenting | , , , , , , ,


  1. Hehe, this is a fantastic idea, I had a little frowner too! Just lately (now she’s 10) she’s been saying, “isn’t it good I woke up happy this morning mummy?”


    Comment by internalsoundseepingout | 20 June 2013 | Reply

    • I once managed a print shop and did the same thing. Smiley faces on the job cards of those who had worked hard. It was amazing to see how they pushed the,selves for a smiley face, so it works with men too 🙂


      Comment by denib14 | 20 June 2013 | Reply

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