Know where/when is the difficult time of the day for you and your children and develop strategies to combat it. The following are ideas for anytime the second list is what I personally did for my difficult time.
1) Create a smiley face mask out of a paper plate to wear if you are feeling less than smiley. Create the rule if they are beginning to get cranky they must wear the mask and then start over. You could have them write nice words on their mask or just have them try to create a mask that is as silly as possible.
2) Reduce the number of tasks going on at the same time. Because we are amazing multi-taskers we think we should use that skill at all times. Don’t do it during your difficult time.
3) Anti- yelling chart. This chart or mine is more of a list has everyone in the households name on it. With the ability to check if they are guilty of yelling. The title is no yelling/no murder of the heart. You can add a reward system to it for whatever time period is age appropriate for your kids. I thought we would have to do this but it turns out the list alone stopped us.
4) Consider that your children may have personal needs that need to be met before they start whatever your difficult time is. Physical- they are hungry, they have to go to the bathroom etc., emotional- have feelings of unfairness someone else is getting more attention or praise, feelings of being left out, etc., sensory- they need a movement break before or during the activity. The task you may be asking them to do may not work for them sitting down try standing, jumping on a trampoline before hand, weighted items for their lap, shoulders or hands, etc. If you have individual questions for this area please feel free to comment me.
My personal difficult time is homework time: This is what I did
1) Creation of anti-yelling chart for not only them but myself
2) Reduced extra activities by not trying to make dinner at same time. I am doing a lot more slow cooker meals.
3) New rule is if you whine or yell you will be doing twice what I asked you to do. So for instance they had one story to read for reading they will be reading two.
4) Walk away and do something else preferably in another room. This is mostly for the benefit of me. I will walk away and sweep a floor or do another 5 minute activity and then come back.
5) I enforced a rule that they had to spend 20 minutes decompressing. One of my twins goes to the bathroom and reads, the other gets a snack and then goes off and hides and reads somewhere. This gives me a little bit of time to set up an activity for the four year old so that when homework starts she does not start doing things for attention.