Yes My Children Make Me Happy

An article from the Pacific Standard magazine titled, “Do Children Make Us Happy?” caught my attention this morning. This shouldn’t be surprising as I believe reading a title like this would catch any parent’s attention. So while I answered yes my children make me happy, I also had some thoughts on the article.

The article brought me up and down–convincing me that parenthood is indeed marred with struggle, doubt, anxiety, and even terror and then restoring me again to my belief that with parenthood comes the happiest days of anybody’s life. To answer those non-parents who believe that parenthood can never give anyone genuine happiness, I’d like to quote this sentence from the article, “If we define happiness in the superficial sense of getting what you want, parents indeed may be less happy than non-parents.” So yes my children make me happy and I know that definitively.

We Were All Children Once

Raising kids can be quite a struggle. No matter how much we love our children, there are just certain things that they do that can make us feel frustrated and angry. Often we find it hard to understand why they do such things. Fortunately today in a post titled, “Parenting with Compassion,” I learned something that I believe will greatly help me deal with this issue.

The post made me realize that understanding our children and their ways can be easier if we take some time to remember what it was like when we were their age. We just might make a sense of all the things our children do that we call “senseless” now by taking a look at our own experiences as a child–our own mistakes, our own struggles. In other words, we might be able to empathize with our children more if we bear in mind that we were children once too.

Being A “Yes” Mom

This morning, I stumbled onto a post titled, “10 Motherhood Secrets,” where the writer shared the 10 things she learned over the years of being a mother. One point that especially struck a chord in the post was how she turned herself from a “no” person to a “yes” mom.

A lot of moms out there are no moms. Some may not even be aware that they are that they are these kind of mothers. “No” is an easier and more convenient answer for mothers. I know because for years, I too struggled with overcoming my habit of saying “no” to my children’s requests. I was a mother who consistently answered “no” to my children’s requests–sometimes even without actually hearing them yet. I was brought to my senses when my own mother came over one weekend and pointed out my “no attitude.”

Looking back, I regretful depriving my children of some happy memories because I was always saying no. Now although my inclination to say no still comes out once in a while, I make a conscious effort to say yes a whole lot more.

How about you? Are you a “yes” or a “no” mom?

Raising Children as Faithful Catholics

It has been my constant prayer and yearning that my children grow to become faithful Catholics who live their lives in preparation for God’s kingdom. I know that a lot of you share this very same desire, but in this sinful world that we are living in this isn’t something that can be done without effort.

There are a lot of things we can do that can help our children develop an eternal love for and a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. We can constantly pray for and with them, take them to mass regularly, tell them of God’s love and the basic saving truths from the Bible, and open their eyes to the doctrines of the Church just to name a few. I recently read another mom’s thoughts about the most important thing we can do in Leading Our Children to the Kingdom of God. She believes that there is nothing more influential to our children than our own actions–our very own examples. I thought this was good advice for parents who want to raise good Catholics.

The Right Way To Praise A Child

The subject of “praising a child” is probably one of the most debated subjects in parenting. Some people say praising is good, while others say that its damaging. I would say that offering genuine, positive comments to children is an important tool in making children understand that they are valued and appreciated. However, I am against parents who delude their kids with empty praises.

I have always believed that sincere and action-specific praise brings the best effects to children. However, it was only recently that I was actually able to read some articles and studies that validated my thoughts. One particularly interesting read I came across was this one: Praising the child’s effort… “you tried hard!”, not the person…”you’re a good boy!” far more effective, says new study.”

Praising our kids is an important part of building their self-esteem and confidence. But overpraising and giving insincere flattery could do more harm than good to the kids.

What To Do When Your Child Gets Bad Grades In School

This morning I stumbled into this interesting post titled, “In the Words of a Non-Parent.” What made it interesting is that it was a parenting advice from someone who has never been a parent. Oddly enough, I found the ideas in the post quite sensible and helpful. One of the key points I took away from the post was how parents should react and deal with our children when they come home with bad grades.

In a few years time, my eldest son will be going into grade school, so this subject is quite significant to me. I am praying that my children will do great when they get to formal schooling, and while I trust that they will I want to be prepared for the worst (just like any parent I suppose). I want to know what I should when I see my child struggling and getting bad grades in school. Most parents punish their children whenever they see a bad mark, but I do not want to do that. I just don’t think that would help.

Have you ever dealt with a child who received bad grades school? What did you do to help him/her do better? Please share your thoughts with me.

The “Diet” Mentality of Society is Affecting Kids

We are living in a society where people associate beauty with being “thin.” For years now, the media has been promoting a body image that is sometimes unrealistic, and creates many health and mental issues–not only in adults but also in children.

In a post called, My Daughter Is Seven. And I Found This In fHer Room, one mother shares her experience when she found out that her 7-year old daughter already has devised her very own “diet plan.” Although the story ended quite well, I can’t help but feel disturbed and scared about how the distorted depiction of beauty is creeping up on our little children. A diet is no thing that a child should be worrying about.

I want my daughter to be healthy and not be one of those individuals who go out of their way and even put themselves through torturing routines just to conform to an image that has been created by the media. But knowing that I am not in control of what they see and hear 24/7, I can only hope and pray for the best.

The Price To Pay For Having Children

Being a parent, and more specifically a mother is hard. For most women the decision to have kids comes with the need to cut back on personal splurges, spend less time hanging out with friends, give up the quiet and organized living space, and at times, even put their professional careers to a halt. Yes the price to pay for deciding to bring kids into this world is high, but I would say from the depths of my heart that it is the best decision I have made in my entire life.

It may sound cliche, but being a parent is truly the most rewarding experience in the entire world. It may have its own share of downsides like sleep deprivation, stress, exhaustion, being in a constant state of worry, a messy home, and a regular pileup of laundry. I think its rewards are numerous and priceless though!

Oh the joy of hearing your baby say “mama” for the first time, seeing him take his first steps, watching him discover new things on his own, having an endless supply of warm hugs and sweet smiles and seeing him grow to become a kind and loving person.

If you have been experiencing a parenting downtime, reading this post, Kids Are Worth It! may help you out.

Bad Eating Habits Can Be Passed On To Our Children

Our children’s lives are greatly influenced by our own. I have mentioned this numerous times on this blog. Our children will most likely take on our values, principles, beliefs, and our faith in God. However, I don’t think I have ever written anything about how parents can pass on their eating habits to their children.

Given that it is typically parents who choose their meals and provide the type of food that they eat at home, it shouldn’t be too hard to understand how we can influence our children’s attitude towards food. It is through example that they take up our eating habits. Mom and dad are every child’s ultimate role model, so whatever it is that they see from us on a regular basis, they are very likely to imitate and adopt when they grow up.

A post from The New York Times titled Will You Pass Your Junk Food Addictions On? prompted me to evaluate the eating practices we have at home. I certainly do not want my children’s health and well-being to be jeopardized because I was not conscious of my food choices.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day With The Kids

Of course, I want to be all sweet and lovey-dovey with my husband on this “day of love,” but I never want to let this day pass without leaving my children with great memories of Valentine’s Day with mommy.

Since the start of this week, I have already been thinking about what I could do with my children today. Fortunately, my lack of creativity is easily compensated with the vastness of the internet! Ha! I found a lot of wonderful ideas, but I had to limit myself to 4 to make sure that I actually got something done and prepared in time for Valentine’s Day. So here is the game plan for today:

  • I served up heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast.
  • Take them to the local library and read books about St. Valentine.
  • Bake some red velvet cupcakes and have them decorate each one.
  • Make Valentine’s Day crafts for grandma and grandpa.

And while Valentine’s Day will be over hours from now, we should never stop showing our children that they are special and loved dearly. Here are a mother’s ideas on how we can show love to our children all year long: 10 Ways To Show Your Children You Love Them.