April 30, 2009

Light-hearted Parenting

I love The Happiness Project blog, and I especially loved one of Gretchen's recent posts. Every Wednesday, she posts a list of tips, and last week she included a list of ten tips for being a more light-hearted parent. The list includes some great reminders for maintaining a peaceful and cheerful household.

...and here's my own personalized version of my favorites (my comments in italics):

- At least once a day, make each child helpless with laughter. This is not just good for them. My tickle sessions with A are a highlight of my days.

- Sing in the morning. It’s hard both to sing and to maintain a grouchy mood, and it sets a happy tone for everyone. Really, singing anytime during the day is a good thing.

- Get enough sleep yourself. It’s so tempting to stay up late, to enjoy the peace and quiet. But morning comes fast. Along the same lines…

- Wake up before your kids. I don't know how I'd get a shower otherwise. I get completely ready, including lunch bag packed and breakfast prepared, before A wakes up. I'm able to enjoy these few minutes of quiet and then I can focus on getting him ready.

- Say “no” only when it really matters. Wear a bright red shirt with bright orange shorts? Sure. Put water in the toy tea set? Okay. Sleep with your head at the foot of the bed? Fine. Samuel Johnson said, “All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.” I'm getting better at this one. A wore the same pair of pajamas every night this week - they didn't smell too awful, so I figured it wasn't worth fighting.

- When I find myself thinking, “Yippee, soon we won’t have to deal with a stroller,” I remind myself how fleeting this is. All too soon the age of Cheerios and the Tooth Fairy will be over. The days are long, but the years are short.

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