Creative Child

4 Habits of Happy Parents

by Rebecca Eanes

Habits of Happy Parents

2. Live with integrity.

Sometimes we get out of step with who we want to be. We may let others influence us negatively, allow them to make decisions for us, or take away our personal power. I think this is becoming an increasing problem with the constant influences of social media.

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Well-meaning friends, family, strangers on the internet, and even professionals may talk us into doing things that feel counterintuitive. We also may overstretch ourselves to please others even when it means sacrificing the personal values we believe in. We may allow our priorities to become askew and get off track for a period of time.

I believe living outside our values and beliefs is a cause for much unhappiness.

The Executive Happiness Coach, Jim Smith, says, “You can experience pleasure, yes.  But true happiness, as it is related to meaning and engagement with life, is difficult to achieve and impossible to hold when one is out of integrity.” I like this definition of integrity: “The state of being whole and undivided.” Decide what values you hold dear, what beliefs you stand firm in, and don’t let others cause you to become divided.

1. Take parenting seriously, but not too seriously.

We tend to be extremely hard on ourselves, beating ourselves up for every misstep or mistake. Our inner critics are relentless and there’s no shortage of outer critics these days, either! I’ve seen parents in such a frazzled state over things like potty training accidents and children wearing mismatched clothing, and by parents I mean me.

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I had to realize that not everything is a crisis! Most of what seemed like a big problem at the time ended up a very small bump in the road. Raising children is a very serious endeavor, don’t get me wrong. It requires our best selves to show up. It stretches us to grow in ways we didn’t even know we needed to grow, and much is riding on what we do every day, but for goodness’ sake, take some time to have a pillow fight, giggle over silly jokes, and enjoy them even when things aren’t perfect! If you wait until everything is perfect before you start enjoying your kids, you’ll end up missing their whole childhood.

Also, at the end of the day, give yourself and your kids some grace for the mistakes. You’re learning and growing together, and where there is love and gratitude, there is hope and happiness.

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 

 

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