School has begun and summer is over… but it’s also a good stretch of time spent with your kids, which can be awesome and daunting all at once! How do all those cheerful parents we envy keep the joy and love flowing? Tap into your inner self and think about what you enjoy the most about parenting. Practice these 7 habits for happier parents and you just may end up wishing this year lasts an extra month!
1. Really Listen to Your Kids
Hearing what your wee ones have to say takes more than simply nodding your head and saying “uh huh” every few seconds. Look them straight in the eye (crouch down if you have to) and really absorb what they are telling you. You can bet it will make you smile when you catch a glimpse into their fascinating little brains, and you’ll make a real connection, instead of just giving them lip service.
2. Spend Quality Time Together
Take advantage of the slower pace during the autumn and winter months and spend some time chillaxing with your kids; cuddle in the hammock, read a book, do a craft at home, or try anything else that lets you spend precious moments with them. With older children, make sure you continue to connect with them conversationally to maintain your bond and keep your lines of communication open.
3. Get Goofy
The everyday parenting routine can get boring, so don’t forget to channel your inner child occasionally. Run through the sprinkler like a goofball, tell knock-knock jokes around the lunch table, and smile lots. You know your kids love to see you having fun, and that laughing is infectious and serotonin-boosting.
4. Eat Healthy and Stay Fit
A healthy mom and dad equal parents with more time and energy for their children. Choose healthy foods, drink a lot of water and get active with your children whenever you can. Expanding energy begets more energy. And that’s a fact.
5. Take Care of Yourself
Parents need time to recharge their batteries, too. Make sure to carve out time for mom and dad individually and together as a couple. This can make a huge difference in your attitude towards your kids.
6. Divide and Conquer
Split the kids up every now and then so parents have alone time with each child. No interruptions, no juggling and no sibling rivalry – such a treat!
7. Look to the Future
There will always be down days, so remember not to sweat the small stuff. Tomorrow (or the next day) will be a brighter day. Repeat the mantra: I never did mind about the little things!