Raising Healthy, Happy Kids

Raising Healthy, Happy Kids

Remember when having children was just a dream. How did you imagine parenting would be? It’s easy to get caught up in the fairytale. Not only did you dream your children would play together and get along great, they will also get along great with their parents and everyone else.

By now, I’m sure you realize this isn’t true. Not only is it not true for you, it’s not true for anyone else. All families have their shares of highs and lows. And, not all of our dreams turn out the way we imagined.

Maybe, you’re still in a tiny house or apartment. Then comes the unexpected expenses, you didn’t realize your medical insurance had such a high deductible or the car breaks down. Your parents suddenly pass away or you are forced to move to an area you don’t like. Whatever the reason, life doesn’t always turn out the way we thought it should. 

The reason kids don’t get a long can vary. Maybe, they are two entirely different kids. One likes to be with their friends all the time, and the other is happy at home watching T.V. Whatever the case is, it’s alright to be different from one another. Your kids may also be different from you. When you were their age, you may have loved to read and write. Now…

Read more: How You Can Help Your Kids Get Along

Are you tired of feeling tired? Do you feel like you take care of everyone else? Then, this is the article for you. As a parent you have a responsibility to take care of your children. But, this doesn't mean you have to lose yourself in the process. I have seen many wonderful children and families in my practice. I tell almost all of my parents, that they can't forget to take care of themselves.

It's easy to overbook yourself and you child. If this goes on for too long, you will start to experience burnout which can lead to resentment. Maybe, you didn't grow up in a family that valued taking care of yourself, or you just never learned how. If that's the case, that's alright, it's never too late to learn. I think all parents want their children to be happy. This actually starts with you. Children learn by what they see. When they see happy parents, they will experience happy feelings. You are also starting happy and positive habits for your child.

Here are 15 self-care tips for parents.

  1. Say no. Stop saying yes when you mean no. We know you want to be helpful. But, this will only cause resentment in the long run. Make sure you stick to your no. This is also a great way to get respect from…

Read more: 15 Self-Care Tips For Parents

It's no secret, that when your kids are happy you are happy. I hear this in therapy all the time, 'I just want my kids to be happy.' Your kids can be happy, but you can't expect them to be happy all the time. As human beings we have a variety of feelings: anger, sadness and happiness to name a few. One of the first steps is letting your kids know they don't have to be happy all the time, and give them permission to express other emotions. 

Children learn by example. If you only show happiness to your child then they will think they need to be happy all the time. It's alright to express other feelings to your children or around your children. A lot of mother's out there will say things like, 'Your father will not hear about this, we don't want to upset him.' What message are you sending your child when you say that? The message is that dad must be happy all the time, that is a lot of pressure for everyone. When dad comes home fill him in on the day, whether it's good or bad. 

Here are five tips that will make you a better listener with you kids:

  1. Get happy yourself. As a parent it's easy to want to please your children and make…

Read more: How To Stop Yelling And Start Listening To Your Kids

Everyone always says, 'It's no big deal just ignore it.' That strategy is alright some of the time but not all of the time. Ignoring mild misbehavior is a legitimate parenting strategy. It shows your little one that his/her antics won't get your attention. This means he/she will be less likely to repeat it in the future.

However, not all behavior should be ignored. If it is, it will lead to worse problems down the road. Keep a look out for these small misbehaviors and take action ASAP. Here are 6 little behavior problems you can't ignore:

  1. Interrupting when you are talking. Your child may be really excited and want to tell you an important part about their day. When you allow your child to butt into your conversation, you give your child the message that it's alright. This doesn't teach your child to be considerate of others. This also doesn't teach your child to occupy their time on their own. The next time this happens let you child know you will be busy. Suggest a few toys or games they can play with. If they continue to interrupt you, steer them back in the right direction.
  2. Exaggerating the truth. At first the exaggerations are little. Maybe, your child told you they finished all of their vegetables. When the truth is they hardly touched…

Read more: 6 Little Behavior Problems Parents Shouldn't Ignore

Parenting is no easy job. It's also a job that never ends. If you have taken on this job, you need to congratulate yourself. You are responsible for the well being of another human being. Parents have a tremendous impact on a child. Now and in the future. Remember Freud, it's true the way we relate to our parents is how we learn to relate to the world as adults.

I find a lot of parents want to be perfect. If you feel this way, you are setting yourself up for failure. Nobody is perfect. You also set the example of having to be perfect for your child. This is unrealistic and can cause problems down the road. I also find that children are way overbooked these days. Your child doesn't have to do everything now. They have a whole life time to fulfill their dreams.

Here are 10 easy ways to be a fantastic parent:

  1. Don't try to fix everything. Give your child a chance to find their own solutions. Depending on their age, of course. It's alright to acknowledge they are frustrated, simply by saying 'I see you are frustrated.' This will help in the future. They will gain more confidence in themselves. 
  2. Play with your child. Play is your child's language. Gear the type of play based on their age. Toddlers love…

Read more: 10 Easy Ways To Be A Fantastic Parent

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Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
Suite 110
San Mateo, CA 94404

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