HAPPINESS: Is Parenting Making You Unhappy?
A study carried out to examine a group of women’s emotions revealed that marital satisfaction nose-dives after the first child is born and picks up again once the children leave home.
Basing on this theory, some happiness experts argue that although parents insist that children are a major source of happiness, this belief is not true.
So if you are a parent, is parenting making you unhappy? Jane (not real name) was a student of International Relations.
She had a great career until she got a baby. Her husband would not allow her travel for her office foreign trips with their baby.
She became so frustrated and considered whether to separate from her husband and pursue her career or to submit to her husband’s interest and remain home and take care of the baby or find a new job.
Many times we find ourselves in this conflicting loyalty but how do we find happiness in Parenting?
FINDING HAPPINESS IN PARENTING
The world’s greatest parenting expert Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish in their book, Siblings Without Rivalry and How To Talk So kids Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk emphasize the importance of acknowledging the reality of people’s feelings.
In their wisdom, they say we should not deny feelings such as anger, irritation, fear or reluctance; instead, articulate the feelings and other person’s point of view.
For instance, allowing them to speak creates a feeling of being heard instead of developing attitude.
Secondly, make yourself the best custodian of happy memories in the family. Studies show that recalling happy memories helps boost happiness in the present.
I realized my love for one of my best friends was based on his ability to recall our past best memories and it keeps rekindling the friendship after a bad argument.
Whenever he reminisces, he focuses on positive memories that amplifies the positive past and minimizes the negative.
For instance, any of our childhood scandals sends everyone into a very hearty laughter.
As a family, keeping a record of our childhood photos in an album can be a happiness booster.
Finally as a family makes it a tradition to do family projects that involves every one. Involve your children in celebrating birthdays away from home.
Get the involvement of family members to bring in their own ideas of fun on Christmas day. Make it a tradition to hang out for lunch every Sunday after prayers.
This enhances a special bonding in the family hence happiness even after the first baby.
Unless you try this out, you will not know what works and what doesn’t. Enjoy family life and keep happy
The author is a motivational speaker on happiness based in Kampala.
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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