Happy parents aren’t magical, mystical beings. They do exist! They aren’t happy every single moment, but they enjoy a pleasant flow to their lives.
These happy parents don’t have to be hypothetical people somewhere way over there. You can find one in your own home, too: YOU!
Let’s take a look at some of these secrets. Maybe you’ll find an idea to spark a little extra happiness in your own life!
(And when you’re ready, you’re just 60 days away from being the positive parent you always wanted to be!)
1. Happy parents are not their child’s entertainer.
They read to their kids, play with them, push them on swings, and all the other ways to play – sometimes. The rest of the time they trust that their kids can occupy themselves.
They give their kids plenty of space, and don’t feel compelled to fill the silences. They don’t rush to rescue their kids from boredom or solve all their problems.
2. They let it go.
They don’t try to be perfect. They don’t have to be in control. Yes, everyone wants to feel in control of their lives, but parenting adds a lot of chaos and uncertainty to the mix. Happy parents have a good grasp on the things they can control and the things they can’t.
The dishes, the laundry, the dusting? They can fall behind. Worrying over the things that tomorrow might bring? Set that aside. Trying to mold their children based on ideal expectations? Let that one go, go, go.
Happy parents are a little more “in the moment” and a lot more willing to let things slide and focus on what’s important right now.
Additional reading (affiliate link): Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting
3. They prioritize delight.
Happy parents know how to zoom in on the things that feel good. Even if it’s tiny moments of fleeting joy, happy parents float from one of these moments to the next.
They catch a big smile on their child’s face, and they revel in that moment. Their child asks to play a board game and they sit down for 20 minutes and focus on nothing but the game. In a difficult moment with their child, they remember to make finding a solution into a cooperative game. They are quick to infuse a situation with play and joy.
Have you made parenting with delight a priority in your family?
4. They cultivate friendships.
Parents need friends. Happy parents are parents who have a circle of people who get where they’re coming from and know what they’re going through. Your friends are people you can vent your anger to and who bring out the best in you.
If you haven’t yet found these people, you can start now. Think about the hobbies, interests, and demographics that are important to you. Use the Internet to seek out regular face-to-face groups of these like-minded people. From these groups, at least one or two new friends will turn into long-term good friends.
While you’re looking for your in-person friends, join me on Facebook for parenting inspiration every day!
5. They practice forgiveness.
For many people, parenting brings out the judgement. You judge yourself for the ways you’re falling short as a parent. You blame your kids for the messes they make and the listening they don’t do. You judge other parents for the ways you think they’re doing it wrong or the ways you think they’re doing it better than you.
Happy parents are forgiving parents. They forgive themselves by remembering that they are doing their best. They forgive their kids because this time is so short. They forgive the parents who are struggling and the ones who make it look effortless.
Vent to your friends when you need to. Then take a big breath, and offer yourself, your kids, and the world gentle forgiveness.
Is learning to forgive one of your obstacles to being a happier parent?
6. Happy parents are thankful.
Perhaps the greatest secret of happy parents is that they remember to be thankful for what they have right now. Happy parents are able to notice the good stuff and hang on tight.
If you are not in the habit of being thankful, you may need a regular gratitude practice to help get you in the habit. Start by taking one minute each morning or evening to jot down three things you are thankful for. Enjoy seeing those words right in front of you. Let them remind you that there is good stuff here in the present.
Your children’s lives are happening right now, and so is yours. You can have plans, goals, and dreams, of course. But don’t let those steal from you the wonderfulness that is right in front of you.
Bonus happiness tricks:
- a strong cup of coffee in the morning…
- a great glass of wine in the evening…
- a quality pillow to lay your head down on at the end of the day…
- and a closet to stuff the excess mess into!
What are YOUR secrets to being a happy parent?