Any time something's out of whack with my kids, I start a daily log. Are you sleeping less? Eating something you shouldn't? What has changed that makes you so cranky, unhappy (fill in the appropriate adjective for your child here).
I don't enjoy it; in fact, I'm a pretty poor logbook keeper. But the exercise typically does help me find something to work with. Which is why I keep coming back to it.
We used the log a year-and-a-half ago to help pinpoint what was causing my daughter's eczema (cow's milk). Now we're using it to try to understand why my daughter is so prone to melt downs. According to a psychologist friend, something as small as a shorter free play time can wreak havoc with a small child's psyche.
The part I find most mystifying is that the solution is typically right there, within my grasp - within my day - if I'd only been paying enough attention in the first place. And that's what the log does; I have to pay very close attention to my children. Very close.
The point is: shouldn't I have been doing so all along?