Happier Parenting

Simple techniques to ensure more happiness in your household – particularly around mornings and mealtimes

Expert: KJ Dell'Antonia

Positive Parenting Conference by: A Fine Parent

TAKEAWAY 1:

What you want now isn’t what you want later:

Eg. When a child says no to you, you may get revved up and think they’re being defiant in the moment, however, in future you WANT them to be able to say no especially when it matters most (for example, their teenage years), 

provided that there is a balance. (The dishes still need to be done whether they like it or not).

TAKEAWAY 2:

There is nothing wrong:

Recognize the fact that things are not necessarily as bad as we may think they seem, especially when it comes to our family and home. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong or that you are doing something wrong.

TAKEAWAY 3:

People, including children, change.

TAKEAWAY 4:

You really don’t have to go in there:

If your child is feeling disappointment whether small or large, you don’t have to go all the way in there with their emotion. Our kids need us to be ok, to be the calm whilst they have their moment.

TAKEAWAY 5:

If you see something, don’t always say something.

We sometimes feel that we have to correct everything, but most of the time you can let them go. If the kids are muttering about chores under their breathe and about how terrible life is while they’re unpacking the dishwasher, let them be. 

TAKEAWAY 6:

You do you.

Everyone has their thing. It might be the most boring thing in the world, but its YOUR thing. Some families play guitar together, others learn 10 languages, and some like to walk on the beach together or bake.

TAKEAWAY 7:

You can be happy when your children aren’t. 

You're not skipping around gleefully while your child is crying on the floor, but you can be happy even though your child is going through a tough time. It's a real burden for your child if they feel responsible for your happiness. They don’t need that, and neither do you. It also works both ways, your child will know that they can be happy even if you’re not, and that your happiness doesn’t depend on someone else.

TAKEAWAY 8:

Decide what to do, and do it.

Don’t second guess yourself, don't worry about whether or not you’ve made the right decision. If you’ve made a mistake, don’t dwell on it. Fix it and move on, you will have plenty opportunities in future again (as children often give us plenty of the same opportunities to "fix" things).

TAKEAWAY 9:

You don’t have to get it right every time.

Imagine being the child of the parent who got it right all the time - what are they going to talk about in college? You're going to screw up, and that's just it. It's the nature of parenting, you will have another opportunity to make it right in the future.

TAKEAWAY 10:

Soak up the good:

Our brains are designed to see bad, but brains can be retrained. Make a point of noticing the good stuff. 

TAKEAWAY 11:

Why are mornings SO BAD?

We live in a society where every morning you have to get up, go somewhere you don’t particularly want to go, after not wanting to get up or not being ready to wake up in the first place. 

We also tend to do too much after work or after school and before we go to bed. Simplify life.

TAKEAWAY 12:

Kids need to sleep more!

When you sleep more, your academics increase, your athletic ability increases, your concentration increases, your health increases, your anxiety decreases.. the list is endless.

TAKEAWAY 13:

Easy tip to smooth mornings for older kids: 

No screens. The end.

TAKEAWAY 14:

When sitting down at mealtimes, allow it to be a safe space. If you have a picky eater / child that eats too much or too little - don’t let the dinner table be a place to discuss these “issues”. Let it be a happy space.

TAKEAWAY 15:

Find a moment today to soak up the good. 

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