"Adults are children who have lost the habit of seeing life's opportunities".
I read something along those lines. It pointed out that a child sees a world of opportunity, has little inhibitions, asks questions, challenges the norm. As we grow we learn rules, restrictions, and why we cannot do certain things. We learn limitations.
We also have a huge amount of 'adult' things to deal with. House, work, bills, and parenting itself. It's no wonder that our child could look at us - and effectively their future - and think 'well that's no fun!' But despite life's daily challenges, I'm extremely mindful of this.
I want my daughter to look and me and see that adult life is joy, and to never lose the habit of seeing opportunity. Here's 5 tips to help us all be a 'Happy' parent:
How to be a Happy Parent (In Your Child's Eyes)
1. 😤Practice Mindfulness
And I don't particularly mean meditate on the spot here! The practice of being mindfulness is 'slowing down and taking note of the present state', not getting swept up in the moment, especially when things are going a bit awry.
Dinner needs putting on, the little one is crying to watch Cbeebies, the dog wants to go out to the loo, the other little one needs to get off to trampolining - ARGH!
- Rather than rushing to 'fix' all the problems - do the opposite. Stop. Just take a second and try to see the bigger picture. Some visualise this as 'lifting up out of your body into the sky and getting a bird's eye view.'
- This pulls you out from the trenches and lets you asses and organise what you need prioritise - and also makes you realise not all of these things need sorting immediately.
- You also realise "what actually will happen if one of these things DOESN'T get done immediately? Is it really going to be the end of the world? You can put things in perspective.
- Tim Ferriss has a great tip of taking three deep breaths just when you're about to get angry or frustrated - it just takes that edge off and helps you slow down so you can assess the situation like above.
- There are a number of ways to learn actual meditation - and as little as 10 minutes a day, morning or evening really does help with overall mindfulness
2. 🧒Consider How Your Child Sees You
This follows on from the previous tip. Being mindful of the situation can stop you from 'losing it' and showing to your child that adults like yourself are just stressed out and fed up!
I've been here. I've not been able to deal with things in the past and ended up getting very frustrated - sometimes at my daughter. If I look back now, that probably did not look very nice. I'd probably wince and that time I acted a bit like a spoiled child myself, throwing my toys out of the pram in a huff.
- Think about this: if you met someone new, you wouldn't want their first impression of you to be 'this stressed out hothead' - we gloss over the challenges and put a positive approachable face on, because that's how we want to be seen.
- Look at your child and imagine your child is seeing you for the first time - it's no different - you want their impression of you to be of a positive helpful person.
- Of course we all know you are a helpful person! But with our child we want them to consistently see this, and in the moment when things are tough that can go out of the window.
- Dr. Shefali Tsabary has a number of books on 'conscious parenting' that discusses how your child sees you.
3. 🤝Remember You're Not The Only One
We all think 'why is our life so hard!? Why me!?" at points. There's a lot of positivity that can come out of remembering that every parent goes through many of the same struggles.
We at Cauz often post funny parenting observations on our instagram and we get a few laughs. The best comedy is things that people can relate to.
- There's nothing wrong with having a little rant about things when you're with a fellow parent - they'll often vigorously nod their head and then share a similar story!
- No matter how difficult a particular situation is at the time, it always seems lighter, sometimes even funny, when you look back at it.
- Huffpost rounded up a number of parenthood one-liners, some of which or spot on!
- Follow Cauz on Instagram for our light observations on parenthood.
4. 🍀Remember How Lucky You Are
I'm a huge believer in gratitude. In fact, it's changed my life. It is so easy to forget how lucky we are that we're not a fly or a slug (no offence to flies or slugs, they have their place). We're humans with opportunity and freedom, and we are blessed to have our children in our lives.
- Jay Shetty has a number of podcast episodes and videos on gratitude, with some really powerful stories of how gratitude can help with state of mind and positivity.
- Some people aren't so lucky. This is why Cauz support our charities with a donation from every items sold. We support charities that gives children, and in turn parents, a better life.
5. ❤️Look For Further Help if You're Really Struggling
This may be the most important tip for you if you are going through really difficult struggles. While we've discussed how to be happy in your child's eyes, real problems cannot be avoided.
If you are suffering with severe anxiety, depression, or anything that you feel you can not make light of please do seek further help:
- Action For Children offer support for parents and have physical centres you can visit.
- Relate is also have advice and support for parents.
- If you're in severe need of help do not hesitate to call Samaritans - who have proven time and time again it is good to talk.
✅What tips can you provide?
Let us and others know in the comments and @wearecauz on Instagram.
👉Resources and Links
- The Most Common Practice of World-Class Performers - this is Tim Ferriss's video where he discusses the 'three breath' technique (2:50 into the video)
- drshefali.com - Dr. Shefali Tsabary, who writes about conscious parenting.
- And if you have the Calm app Dr. Tsabary has a masterclass which gives you a short but considerable intro to conscious parenting.
- Cauz (@wearecauz) on Instagram - where we post our observations on parenting
- 19 One-Liners that sum up parenting perfectly - by Huffpost
- The Cauz Story - BeCauz I Almost Lost it All - Our founder Rob Lyon's story of his near-death experience and why he started Cauz
- Jay Shetty on YouTube - for inspiring and profound videos on mindfulness and gratitude
- Action For Children - for support for parents, children and families
- Relate - for parenting and family support
- Samaritans - for when life really feels unbearable and overwhelming
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