I recently read a magazine article that stressed the importance of being a cheerful parent. While so much of child rearing is “learn as you go,” how much easier it is to handle parenting challenges if our attitude is one of cheerfulness.
If you recall my previous post on being a grumpy mom in the mornings, you’ll know that this is an area in which I struggle. It leads me to ask myself, “As a child of God, am I allowing His joy to be reflected in me?” What better way to draw my children to Him and the life He would have for them to live than for them to see me living joyfully? In order to portray that joy, I must keep my own relationship with God a priority.
As is so often the case, I think being a cheerful mom begins with the small things. Here are a few suggestions that I hope to follow.
- Smile. I probably think that I smile often, but am I really looking our daughters in the face and smiling at them? I want to do more of that on purpose.
- Enjoy our daughters. This means taking the time to stop what I’m doing and go into another room to see what they’ve made or view the picture they’ve colored or listen to the poem they wrote. By sitting down and really listening to them when they talk, I can interact in a positive way and learn more about their interests.
- Encourage them. I need to re-read my post on ways to encourage our children. Obviously there are times when discipline and correction need to take place, but as our girls grow older, I want to make sure that is balanced with times of encouragement and expressing appreciation of the things that they do right.
As the old saying goes, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” I want to build my relationship with our children by being a more cheerful mom!
Have you found ways to purposely set a cheerful mood in your home? I’d love to hear them! Visit Run the Earth, Watch the Sky’s series to read how others are planning a fresh start in parenting for 2010.