The job of a parent is difficult and challenging. It isn’t an 8:00 to 5:00 schedule, it is 24/7. There are few 15 minute breaks and you are always expected to know the answer. However, being a parent can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying jobs you will ever have. But first, you must learn to enjoy it. If you wake up each morning overwhelmed and bitter at your parenting tasks, you will have a long life ahead of you. Here are five easy ways to find joy in being a parent.
1. Create and listen to the laughter.
Where there is laughter, there is happiness. A child’s laugh is one of the most precious sounds and something every home should enjoy. Create a home environment filled with laughter. Chase each other around the house, play games together, tell each other stories and participate in activities that will bring laughter to your family.
Laughter also has many benefits for your children. When children feel comfortable and safe within their home, they have an easier time gaining self-confidence and self-esteem. They feel secure and they are much more willing to establishing strong relationships with family members including their parents.
2. Learn to love every stage.
As parents, we often look ahead to our child’s next milestone. It isn’t uncommon to hear parents say, “I can’t wait until my child can walk,” or, “I’m counting down the days until the teenage years are over.” But as parents, when we learn to appreciate every stage of a child’s life, we become closer to him. We become more excited when he reaches the next milestone and we want to spend as much time with him before they keep growing.
If you have a difficult time appreciating the stages of your child’s life, keep a list of the good things that have come from each stage. After some time, you will notice there are many wonderful things about your child’s previous and current stages of development.
3. Take time for your children.
Be there for your children. Set aside your long to-do list each day and focus on your children. Play, read, make treats and watch movies together. Let your children know that you are their number one priority.
When you spend time with your children you create a bond, a bond that will last for years to come. When your children demand your attention, give it to them. If they want to talk to you about their day at school or about a problem in their lives, set aside any distractions and focus solely on them. One day, you will be wishing you received any attention from them at all.
4. Praise your children.
Make it a habit to compliment your children and praise them for their success. When you look for the good in your children, you will recognize their strengths, good qualities and achievements. You will find even more to love about them.
5. Forget about the bad days.
As a parent, you are guaranteed hard and difficult days. There will be times when you don’t have the energy to go on. You must remember that the bad days will not last forever and good days will always come along. You must push aside those bad days and focus on the good. If you dwell on the bad, you will become negative and pessimistic.
Being a parent is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. If you find the good in your daily tasks, being a parent will not be so bad afterall.
Courtnie Erickson is a Utah State University graduate and a technology guru.