Do you remember how you felt when you first held your baby in your arms? Most parents experience a flood of love filling their whole being. A baby is a miracle. No matter how old they get they are still a miracle that you were and will always be a part.
Sometimes tucking your child into bed will help parents remember that feeling and bring it back on a daily basis. Or, holding and comforting her when she’s sick will bring back the feelings. Sometimes just watching him laugh and play will do the trick.
Parenting is a tough role to play. It's one that never stops. It’s not a theatrical production where the curtain goes down at the end of the show. No. We are forever on the stage playing this role the best we can. If you’re struggling with the role, there may need to be a change of attitude. Sometimes looking at life with a new set of eyes can widen our view and help us see the joy that is so connected with being parents.
Earl Nightingale said, “A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our world. It seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.”
Here are a few ideas to help parents connect to those serendipitous opportunities that will keep them in a positive attitude.
1. Look for the bright side of a situation
That’s difficult when a teacher, for example, calls and says your son is failing a class. You may be wondering what the bright side to this call could possibly be. There is a bright side. First, she called and told you. Too many teachers don’t take the time to communicate with parents and let them know. Second, now that you know, you can do something about it. You can have a calm conversation with your son. This provides an opportunity for you to get closer to him as you ask what he needs. Let him talk, then make a plan together to get him the help he needs. Maybe it’s no more than some good one-on-one tutor time with dad or mom. That can have a very positive outcome if it’s done in a kind and loving manner.
2. Be grateful you are a parent
Thousands of couples are physically unable to bring a child into the world, and many of them cannot afford the cost of adoption. You are among the fortunate who have a child. Rejoice in it. When you consider what a privilege it is to be the earthly mother or father of a child of God it can fill your heart with humble gratitude and a joyful feeling. It says he trusts you and will help you.
A friend of ours sent us this thought: “No matter how good or bad you think life is wake up each day and be thankful for life. Someone somewhere else is fighting to survive.” It is a blessing to be able to jump out of bed and begin the duties of parenting. Make sure the joy shows on your face. A smile can do wonders to improve your attitude and the attitude of everyone in your home. Smiles are catching.
4. Rejoice in the fact that you can improve as a parent
You’re not stuck in a bad-parent rut. You can change. Decide where you need to change and begin. Start by forgiving yourself for mistakes you’ve made. Every parent makes them. Recognize the mistakes and make a plan to overcome them. If you yelled at your child — apologize. This becomes an opportunity to teach children about apologizing when they have offended or hurt someone. See how you can turn a bad situation into a good one? Find these whenever you can.
5. Keep in mind that this child will likely one day give you grandchildren
Talk to any grandparent and you’ll realize what a joyful time of life that is going to be. Keep a picture of the future in your mind. Good things are ahead.
Having children definitely has its rewards. Keep that positive thought in mind and you will find joy in rearing your posterity.