7 ways to being a happier, more positive parent
Parenting takes work. Patience. Understanding. To some, it is second nature. For many though, it is a conscious effort. Pressures and expectations can weigh on us. Money, bills, packed schedules, endless laundry, homework, work, volunteering – the list goes on.
All parents want to portray that positive, happy parent. You know, the one everyone compares to. What is the secret? How do they maintain it?
Here are 7 – call them what you will – suggestions, techniques, tips, ways to finding that happy, positive parent in you.
1. Take personal inventory
Knowing yourself is key to being happy. When do you lose your temper? What are the triggers? Are your expectations realistic? What do you sound like?
These questions can help you assess where a mood starts and an attitude begins. Really dig deep and be honest with yourself. Being positive may need to be one of those conscious choices until it becomes a part of you.
2. Model the behaviors you appreciate in others
There are characteristics in others that you admire. What are they? Fun personality, honesty, kindness, humor, good health and all other traits draw you to others. Do you emulate those behaviors back to those around you?
Conversely, take stock in what you could do differently. Do you overreact? Do you take care of yourself? If you are continually an exact opposite of those you admire, go back to #1 and figure out why. Being the person you like to be around makes for a happy, content self.
3. Stop over-committing
No. It’s one of the first words we all learned. Yet many have a hard time saying it as an adult. But we need to be OK with saying ‘no’. Limit the sports, the screens, and the double-booked evenings. Unhappy comes from having way too much to do and not enough time to get it done.
4. Know your role
You are the parent, not another kid. What concerns you should not concern your kids. Do not allow your worries to filter to your kids. They are not able to cope with an adult’s concerns. As well, don’t make your kid’s concerns all about you. Separate yourself. Your job is to keep them safe, guide them, encourage, support, and teach. Your job is not to live their life or have them live yours.
5. Think, talk and have moments without kids
What? No kids? Right. This is your time. Read a book, go out with friends, talk about world issues, skip a play date every once in a while, go for a walk, sit in silence, practice yoga, meditate, pray. You are an adult. Have adult moments.
6. Mix up your social circle
Go outside of your comfort zone and meet people. It’s a different conversation when you’re out with those that are single or married without kids. Attend different events with coworkers. Enjoy dinner with friends and have them all invite one other friend along. Learn about other people.
There’s something to be said for cleaning and getting rid of stuff. Out with the old. Simplify. Start over. Cleanse. Don’t worry. Be happy.
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