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10 Tips to Happier Parenting

Tracy Hill

  Parenting is the toughest job there is. But it is also the most rewarding.

Many parents get mired down in the day-to- day difficulties in raising children and they lose the joy. Being a parent can be the happiest time of your life and the following tips will help you to regain that joy.

--Sometimes It Can Be So Easy--

1. Listen. Children have so much to tell us and share with us but sometimes we don't hear them. Their insight is so unique and we all know that kids say the darndest things. Besides, if you don't listen they will stop trying and think of all you will miss then

2. Enjoy them while you can. Your time with your kids is so brief, make the most of it. Read them bed time stories even if there is a kitchen to clean, play with them, watch them, listen to them. Always remember they are merely on loan to you so don't waste a second of it.

3. Record good memories. Take pictures of your children whenever you can. When you are having one of those tough days when everything seems to be going wrong and you wonder why you don't have a dog instead, take out those pictures and remind yourself of how good it can be to be a parent.

--Sometimes You Need a Plan--

4. Pick your battles. It is very easy to get caught up in wanting your child to do and be everything you want them to. But in the midst of all these power struggles you lose the joy to parenting. Pick the things that really matter to you and let the rest go. Life and their childhoods are too short to waste with all of the conflict.

5. Schedule some down time. Many parents in the quest to expose their children to as many experiences as possible make their lives so hectic no one is happy. The kids are tired, stressed, and over stimulated and the parents are chauffeurs who are stressed, tired and over stimulated. Make sure you have some time every week when nothing is going on to put things back into perspective.

6. Make time for yourself. Kids are sponges who learn by example. If they live with a parent who never takes time for themselves and is always living to please everyone else, that is what they will learn. Make a good example and take time for yourself.

7. Make 'quality time' really quality time. It doesn't count if you take your little ones to the zoo to spend time with them if you are on the phone constantly. Kids need to know they are a priority and you need to stay focused on them to really get to know them too.

--A Few Last Thoughts--

8. Remember that tough times won't last forever. I remember when my kids were newborns and I felt as though I would never again get a full nights sleep, but before I knew it they were sleeping through the night. Kids grow up so fast that no phase will ever last forever. There will always be a new and exciting one to take their place.

9. Enjoy each of your children for their own unique personalities. It is very easy to compare your kids and wonder why emotional Rachel can't be more like easy going Mark. Every child has their own set of strengths and weaknesses and once you find these and learn to make the most of them you will be happier because you are no longer trying to shove a round peg into a square hole.

10. And finally, the most important and toughest lesson to happy parenting. We all make mistakes. Parenting is such an inexact science. There is no book written that is comprehensive enough to ever fit every situation and every child. We are all learning as we go and as in all learning situations we all make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from these mistakes and not beat ourselves up over them. Being a parent is such a wonderful job when there is no guilt allowed.

The tips we have talked about today are actually relevant to more than just parents. Sometimes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends need to be reminded to enjoy those important people in their lives and not lose sight of what really matters.


About the Author:

is the founder and president of , your source for hundreds of quick and easy tips and ideas for a happier life including our free Happiness123 Idea-Kit and Newsletter.

Parenting An Only Child The Joys And Challenges Of Raising Your One And Only: Looks at the advantages and disadvantages of the single-child family, and offers tips on raising an only child.

Vicki Lansky's Practical Parenting Tips: Over 1,500 Helpful Hints for the First Five Years. A treasured classic of time-tested tips and advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics and from parents "in the trenches."

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