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5 Ways to be a Better and Happier Parent this Year
Live in the moment: It’s easy to get caught up with the logistics of life (what’s for dinner, did I schedule swim lessons, where the heck are all of my son’s socks?!) – these details are important, but I’m trying not to let them rule my life. In the same way that I try to unplug from technology every now and then, I need to make an effort to unplug from my to do list, and just enjoy unplanned, unproductive time with the family.
Embrace the chaos: Life gets crazy, especially over the holidays, as we try to wrap up work, hit every holiday party, and finish buying gifts. And after the holidays, it doesn’t really stop. I’ve always liked an organized, structured life, but I find that embracing the chaos (crumbs all over the couch? let the dog clean it up!) helps me be a lighter, happier, more resilient parent.
Take a day: In 2014, I want to create dedicated days for my son, my husband, and for me. I plan to start small – maybe someone gets a dedicated day every other week, but I want a day to go “all in” on taking my son to his favorite places, spending a romantic day with my husband, or leisurely treating myself to an afternoon at the spa.
Give back together: One of the best lessons you can teach your children is the importance of giving back – volunteering together, as a family, is a great way to make this part of your routine. And it’s a wonderful way to connect with each other.
Creative play: I’m always tempted by new toys – maybe this will be the new gizmo that will occupy and teach my son for hours on end! Of course, that is rarely the case. In the new year, I’m scaling back on new toys, and focusing on ways to encourage creative play with my son. So this year, we’ll be planting tomatoes, gluing macaroni to a piece of paper, and making mud pies in the backyard.
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