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“5 Things To Do Now” to Become a Happier Parent

Post provided by https://parentsanonymous.org/

Being a parent is one of the most important and rewarding roles a mother or father will experience in their lifetime. At the same time, it can often feel exhausting, challenging and overwhelming. Life gets much busier with children and because of this, parents or caretakers often forget to take time to slow down, enjoy the moment and practice self-care. Unfortunately, a day out alone is not always feasible, but there are things that you can do at any given moment that will instantly boost your mood. 

Parents Anonymous® Inc., the nation’s premier family strengthening organization, is sharing their “5 Things To Do Now,” which offers both parents and caregivers simple practices that will help them to become a happier parent. As we approach July 26th’s National Parents’ Day, now is the perfect time to start implementing these tips so that you can feel your very best as you celebrate this much deserved holiday.

BREATHE: Close your eyes, breath in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth. Doesn’t that feel good? Deep breathing is known for being beneficial for the body, mind and soul. Whenever you’re stressed or impatient, stop and breathe and you will likely feel less anxious. You may even feel as if you have more control over your emotions and thoughts. Share this tool with your child. When you model connecting with the power of breathing and encourage your children to explore it for themselves, you give them a way to manage their own feelings and shift their mind-body state. 

LAUGH: Kids are the best comedians around! Put your cell phone away and watch your child play for a bit. You’ll be surprised at how often you’ll find yourself laughing. It’s true what they say: “laughter is the best medicine.” Let go of the frustrating moments and focus on the hilarious things they do and say instead. Having a good sense of humor as a parent or caregiver makes kids healthier and better able to cope with challenges! 

SMILE: Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural painkillers, and serotonin. Together these three neurotransmitters make us feel good from head to toe. Surprisingly, a smile can bring you health benefits even if you don’t start out feeling happy. With that said, the next time you’re late for your son’s soccer game due to traffic, or you’re waiting in line at the store with an unhappy baby, try smiling. After all, a smile is contagious and may bring some joy to your child too! Also smiling is contagious and connects you to others you smile at

MEDITATE: When people think of meditation, they often picture a Zen, scenic location, eyes closed and sitting still for hours. For parents, this is far from achievable, but thankfully being mindful can be done on the go! In fact, mindfulness meditation can be as simple as just taking the time to acknowledge your present moments and your thoughts. Set your intentions for the day by holding up your cup of tea or coffee, closing your eyes, and taking a few deep breaths. Throughout the day, remember to stay grounded. When you feel yourself losing control and ready to explode, bring your attention to your feet and feel them on the ground. This thought will instantly shift your energy and bring down those negative emotions, saving you from reacting in a way you would feel guilty about later on. If you can find, 5 minutes to close your eyes, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground or sit on the ground and just breathe and focus and release the chatter in your head. 

Strengthen YOUR RESILIENCE: Life with children is truly unpredictable. You never know what the day will bring. In addition, families more than ever are struggling with uncertainty as news stories of the pandemic and protests continue to circulate. Think about yourself as a tree with strong roots and ability to adapt and respond to weather changes. Bouncing back and leaning into your strengths are what keeps us resilient to deal with the ups and downs of life. Often we feel knocked down by challenges, but picking ourselves up and choosing to move forward is what feeds our souk and teaches are children how to build their resiliency. Whenever your head is filled with negative thoughts about the future, repeat this mantra over and over again: “No matter what happens, I can handle it!” Writing in a journal is also a great way to jot down your fears or highlight all that you are grateful for, in order to keep your mind in its healthiest state! 

Parenting is hard, but know that you are not alone. Parents Anonymous® offers both a National Parent Helpline and California Parent & Youth Helpline, which allows for you to speak to one of their trained helpline advocates and join an Online Support Group to receive trauma-informed evidence-based emotional support and resource referral. Call, text or live chat (available in both English and Spanish) 1-855-4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736). 

Learn more about the National Parent Helpline: https://www.nationalparenthelpline.org 

Learn more about the California Parent & Youth Helpline: https://caparentyouthhelpline.org/

About Parents Anonymous®: Since 1969, Parents Anonymous® Inc. has created and disseminated internationally various Evidence-Based Programs and Initiatives that build on the strengths of diverse Parents, Children, and Youth. Parents Anonymous® is the only Evidence-Based Parent Partner Program as identified in the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse. Also, Parents Anonymous® started and partners with thousands of entities to celebrate every February National Parent Leadership Month®. With the support of the U.S. Congress, the National Parent Helpline® began in 1974 as the first and only nationwide emotional support system for Parents, Caregivers, Children & Youth. The California Parent and Youth Helpline and online Parents Anonymous® Weekly Groups are the most recent addition to the Parents Anonymous® Programs. Learn more at: https://parentsanonymous.org/

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