Joyful Parenting

Do you feel stressed by the challenges of parenting? Does it no longer make you feel happy? Relax! Here are a few tips to bring the zest back into your life.

By Amrita Gracias

Joyful Parenting

Did someone say that parenting was easy? That it was all about child-rearing and making a few choices? One can’t be more wrong.

Being a parent is one of most demanding and challenging roles to take on. Of course, hard work pays, and when it comes to parenting, the rewards are the immense joys and pleasures that our children bring us.

However, dealing with issues like disobedience, tantrums, conflict, household responsibilities can sometimes make parenting seem unmanageable and distressing. And, we struggle to stay afloat.

So, how can we ensure that our parenting journey is one of joy and harmony rather than discord and conflict? Here are five tips to make parenting a joyful experience.

LOVE unconditionally: Love is a powerful glue that binds a family together and fortifies the relationships that members share with each other. So, love your child unconditionally and find ways to make him understand that. You can communicate your affection through words and actions like hugging and cuddling. Being showered with love has several positive effects on a child’s physical, mental and emotional development, making him a happier and healthier child. Your abundant care and support also greatly influences his self-esteem, confidence level and academic performance. Avoid unnecessary criticism or comparisons, and don’t forget to praise, appreciate or compliment your child at least once a day.

LAUGH with each other: It is said that laughter is the best medicine, isn’t it? So why not have some fun when you find yourself with your child in a sticky situation? Finding your child covered in paint or walking into the house with dirty feet can push you towards losing your temper. But, ask yourself, “Is anger the solution to all my problems?” A little bit of brainstorming will make you realise that humour and laughter are better alternatives to getting upset. The stress and tension of a moment can be relieved by staying calm and trying to find an element of fun in the situation. Also, don’t stress yourself over trying to be the perfect parent. Share funny experiences or stories to create some perfect and happy moments. But while you do this, remember, however, to laugh with your child and not at her.

LISTEN to each other: Meaningful communication between a parent and a child always ensures a better relationship. And, the ability to listen is a critical part of communication. Make a conscious effort to listen attentively to what your child says even when it’s something insignificant or you are in the midst of doing something important. Be receptive and empathetic to his feelings and emotions when he wants to vent his disappointments and frustrations. Such an attitude encourages a child to open up, thereby encouraging a stronger emotional connection, which leads to more happy moments and leaves less room for power struggles and conflict. Also, if you listen to your child, he will learn to listen to you, and others as well.

LEARN from each other: Our busy lives often makes us overlook the simple and meaningful things that matter the most. So, what better way to embrace life than to learn from our happy-go-lucky little ones! Learn to let go and indulge in the silly things that your child finds so exciting. Learn some simple but important life lessons from your child like learning to forgive as easily and not holding on to grudges. Bring out the child in you by moving out of your comfort zone and without inhibitions. Also, try to learn from your partner’s strengths to enjoy the shared responsibilities of parenthood.

LIVE as a family: Find ways to spend quality time together as a family. Although this might seem difficult owing to busy schedules, connecting with each other is certainly one of the best ways to relax and ease underlying tensions. Involve yourself in spontaneous activities or celebrations. Introduce family traditions like a daily meal together or a weekly outing to the park or beach. Ask your child to come up with activities that might make for interesting time together. You’ll be surprised at the simple things all of you can enjoy as a family. Encourage your child to help you with chores around the house. While this takes away some of your burden, he will also feel involved in your life. Also make the effort to spend quality time with your partner regularly. When your relationship is based on happiness and shared responsibilities, it makes parenting so much more easy and pleasant.

Worries and woes are undoubtedly a part of the parenting process. So, don’t let them prevent you from enjoying the simple but incredible pleasures your children can give you. Go ahead and enjoy being a happy parent!

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