A happy YOU, as a parent (single or married), helps make happy children! Every parent loves seeing their kids happy; a home filled with photos of smiling children; happy faces on computer screens, book shelves and on the refrigerator door gallery.
When it comes to raising happy children, there is a bounty of complex and and often contradictory advice. But parents get too caught up in daily life to take time to enjoy the moment. There are tasks to be done . . . obligations to meet . . . always something that is distracting us from truly being happy in the moment. Even when everything is caught up and on track, we find other things to steal our joy.
We, as parents can make a conscious effort to figure out what makes us the happiest. Is there a way to just be happier?
Here are a few things to cultivate more joy and happiness into your life:
The Magic of Being Kind. Kindness covers almost everything. Be kind to everyone, and kinder still to those who least deserve it. And most of all be kind to yourself. Though it may sound like a cliche, the more kindness you put in the world, the more kindness that comes back to you.
Give Your Children Compliments. Find something every day to praise them about. Some days it might be something small and insignificant that you really must search to find. A random compliment or simply saying something nice can change a mood or relieve stress.
Make Time to Do Things for Yourself. What do you like to do? Well, just do it!
Just Have Fun with the Kids. Be silly. Laugh at their bathroom jokes. Include kids in the absurdities of your day.
Let It Go! Whatever “it” is. A perfectly clean house, color coordinated kid clothing, whatever your “it” is that causes stress, let it go. And you know what? That is okay. Just as it is okay that kids want to live in bedrooms that look like an episode of a sitcom. Remember, bedroom doors can hide the multitude of clothes piled on the floor.
Don’t Over Schedule! Are you someone who schedules their children so that every single free moment of every day is filled which it can be exhausting? You are not depriving your kids by not signing they up for every pursuit. One activity per season can be enough for them and for you.
Be Spontaneous. Instead of planning things all the time, surprise the kids. Pick them up at school and take them to the movies on a school night. Roast marshmallows. Eat breakfast cereal for dinner. Just at bedtime when everyone is in their pajamas tell them to get in the car and go out for an ice cream cone. Have a nighttime picnic and try to find constellations. Play flashlight tag. The best moments are often those where we did something on the spur of the moment. That is probably because there were no expectations in advance. It simply was the moment that it was.
Ask Your Kids What They Would Like to Do. You might be surprised. Have your children make a list of things they want to do. The list might include things going to the dollar movie theater, flying a kite, making smores. There was no reason you couldn’t do these things. They were all completely reasonable and inexpensive.
Limit Your Exposure to the News. The world is not as bad as some the news would have you believe. There is no reason to know every problem and issue that happens in the world.
Just Ignore Technology and Be with Your Kids. Toss the technology when the kids get home from school. Interact with them and ask about their day. Younger kids love to talk about their days in minute detail. Soon, they won’t and so savor these talks for as long as you can.
A Body in Motion. Even if you to hate it, find a way to make exercise enjoyable. A brisk walk, some gardening, an easy exercise video, dancing when no one is looking . . . it can be contagious.
Life is Not Always Greener on the Other Side! None of us have it all together. It’s just a fantasy.
T's Learning Centers, with 5 facilities located in the greater Jacksonville area, is dedicated to providing a safe, comfortable environment for toddlers, preschoolers and young children, that contributes their happiness and security when they are with us and sends them home to their families ready to share the experiences of the day.