10 Things Happy Parents DON’T DO !

By middle age, parents are intelligent enough to answer the question “What do you want in life” with “I want to be happy”. While as little kids and young adults we may have made a laundry list of things that we want, slowly we arrive at the happiness answer. But as we all know, this is easier said than done!  And with kids, it could seem like we are being thrown into a vortex of frenzy and with the daily battles going on, many of us feel a little frazzled. We all figured out  that good parents feed  the kids fruits and  vegetables, take them for vaccinations, put them in a good school , make sure they do well in school, figure out college options etc etc etc.. But… what are the things that happy parents don’t do?

  1. Expect consistency– Kids = unpredictable. Your child may love the dish you made today, but refuse to eat it tomorrow. What works today is no guarantee that it will work tomorrow. Expecting consistency is children is just setting yourself up for disappointment. The more you are mentally ready to wing it, the happier you will be!
  2. Do the entire house work by themselves : Household chores are a drag and the more the family pitches in, the more everyone is happy. Pitching in also bonds the members together – as you chatter around the kitchen or dining table , it gives you a lot of moments to talk and share stories.
  3. Strict about everything – So your child is begging for one cookie before lunch. While this is obviously not a great idea, it is ok to let it go once in a while ! Give him a sense of power- live a little. The beans can wait. Yes, there ARE things you need to be strict about. But learn to relax a little now and then and give in to the silliness of life.
  4. Forget to cuddle : Human beings crave physical contact and there is a lot of bonding and security for kids when parents are physical with their children. Happy parents hold their children at every possible opportunity.
  5. Expect perfection – Perfection and human beings actually don’t go together. Even more so, kids! Kids are usually about messy clothes, dirty hands , gross habits (How many times do I have to tell you to wash your hands if you used the bathroom!!) , ruining the furniture, breaking your stuff and jumping on the bed. Interestingly.. the more you join them in these adventures, the happier you will be !
  6. Never take time for themselves: As much as humans need physical contact, now and then, they also need space. Happy parents take an opportunity to catch a break from being a parent. It gives them a chance to pursue their own interests , revive a passion and just feel good about themselves.
  7. Say they don’t need help : Parenting is a tough gig and trying to do it all by yourself, is really not necessary if you can get help. There is no use in being a martyr and taking on too much leading to a burnout. Happy parents accept help whenever it is offered.
  8. Care about everyone’s opinion : The world will always question your choices- on everything from how your children should be fed, clothed, educated , medicated and betrothed ! Happy parents don’t care about other’s opinion. They focus on what is right for their children’s happiness and they stand by their children. The rest of the world can mind their own beeswax.
  9. Go on a Power trip : ‘Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Yes, we all love our kids, but we get used to having power over them when they are little- and we forget that they grow up and become individuals over whom you have to prevail with love and not power. Happy parents resist power mongering.
  10. People over things : Sometime we adults can be hyper about our things. We like to hang on to things and worry that people will break them, ruin them or use them! Whenever you place more importance on things than people, it affects your relationship with them. Kids too. Nothing in your live can be too precious for your children- of course keeping it relevant to their age. You surely don’t need to  give your preschooler your crystal ware to play ‘kitchen’ with her dolls.

Raising kids will probably be the biggest and most important project in our lives. As we go about from milestone to milestone in their lives, let us not forget to be happy in that process 🙂

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