Being a better parent is, for many of us, about looking at our children and seeing what we can do to make them happier. But there is a fundamental flaw in this approach. While we all want the best for our children, this can be to the detriment of our health and happiness. Ultimately, your health is something you need to work at and this means that, on occasion, you’ve got to prioritize yourself. This doesn’t mean being selfish but it’s about taking the opportunity to step back and seeing what you can find you so you can be a better parent. With this in mind, here are some suggestions.
Fine-Tuning Your Health
As we get older we start to lose control over our faculties. It can start when we are very young with regards to something like our eyesight and then gradually it could develop into other problems such as hearing loss. While it’s something that many people don’t need to worry about during their 30s or 40s there are those that have been listening to music heavily throughout their young years through headphones that mean they could benefit from getting a hearing test. You may wonder about the hearing test effectiveness when you think you are perfectly healthy but it’s important to get into the habit of checking ourselves on occasion. Think of your body and mind as a car; you are just taking it in for a service every now and again.
Learning To Connect Better As A Family
You could spend a lot of time prioritizing your children so they are healthy or happy and this could mean that you end up working every job under the sun to give your children everything they want. The priority may not be about giving them worldly possessions but rather making sure that you all spend time together as a family. If you focus more on giving your children everything that they want, does this mean that you are neglecting them in other ways? It’s an age-old story; that you want to give your children everything that they want in life but because you are focused on providing for them in a material sense that you aren’t providing for them in an emotional way. Learning to connect better as a family doesn’t have to be about spending every waking moment with them, but it’s about taking the opportunities to provide sacrosanct moments. The perfect example is family dinner time. When you keep that as a priority every single day when it’s the only time that you all sit around the table you can talk and spend, at the very least, 30 minutes together every single day. As well as this, you can find the benefits of the little things. We could very well focus more on the quantity of time but we should focus on quality. Something like bedtime up to the age of 10 can be the perfect opportunity for you to spend good quality time with your children.
Learning To Calm Yourself Down
Self-care is just as important as looking after your health and the general connectedness of yourself as a family. When you neglect self-care, this can mean you are prone to irritability which can be to the detriment of the family. If you don’t feel that you are functioning at 100%, any little thing that a child can do could mean you end up blowing your top. And it’s something that we’ve all got to check-in ourselves on occasion. When you start to address your own triggers in this respect, you can take the opportunity to intercept these emotions before they become too much. That need to calm down can be about a daily practice like meditation but it can also be about a way to distract yourself from getting angry. A good example would be if you feel that you are getting tense with one of your children, hug them! It’s a way for you to reinforce that connection with your child but it also so is a way for you to bring more oxytocin which is the love hormone. If you ever feel like you’re getting angry, try and replace it with love. And yes this may sound like a very hippie sort of practice, but when you start to think about the times where you feel your tension rising, try and replace it with something happier.
Being a better parent isn’t just about prioritizing the happiness of your children but it’s about making sure that you are happy as well. And this can be about a few simple practices but also taking that opportunity to look at who you are.