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13 Things Parents In Their 40s Wish They Did In Their 30s

13 Things Parents In Their 40s Wish They Did In Their 30s

The third decade of our lives come with numerous benefits and various advantages. We develop a sense of maturity and a level of financial security yet retain the quirks and energy which we had in the 20s, 30s can be even referred as the most prolific time of our lives. It is no wonder that when you are a parent in your 40s, you can’t help but think of things which you wish you could have done in your 30s. To make your thoughts a bit complete, here 13 things parents in their 40s wish they did in their 30s.

Spend More Time With Their Partner

Life can get busy and it gets busier when you become a parent. In your 40s, you spend most of your undivided attention on your children to the extent that sometimes you forget that your spouse is also your life partner. Spending some quality time in your 30s with your beloved would have helped in developing a deeper and better understanding of your partner.

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    Take Up a Hobby

    You always wished to play the guitar or simply learn to bake cookies or just write down random thoughts and poems as a hobby. But it is unquestionably unimaginable now since you spend more time in deciding your child’s hobby or extracurricular activity. Learning new skills or taking up a hobby can be the best memory you can have of your 30s.

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    Have a Child Savings Fund

    This does not necessarily mean investing in a formal financial scheme. It means having a dedicated savings account or recurring deposits to pile-up funds that will stay untouched for any other expense except those incurred on children. While it might be never too late to plan and start saving, parents who started saving in their 30s get an advantage by their 40s thanks to the power of money compounding.

    Exercise or Working Out

    The forties is a very unique phase. It is the decade that will complete your transformation to officially reaching middle age. During this phase, body metabolism reaches a lazy pace and it is when that you wish you had exercised well in your 30s. Even a steady walk would have been better than the dash you make every morning to the school’s bus-stop with your child’s bag dangling from one arm!

    Read your favorite books or poem

    In your 40s, most of the reading you will do will be at your work and at home with your child’s school syllabus. Time does fly during this phase and you always feel that you could have dedicated more time to read good books. Thankfully, this is something you can still do now, be it romantic quotes or poems you could share with your spouse or finding a great article to read online, together.

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      Consolidate your social circle

      If there is something which takes the toll the most during your parental phase it is your friends circle. You realize that you are in touch with far lesser friends than you were when you were in your 20s and could have had larger social circle if you maintained contact in your 30s.

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        Travel new places

        Travelling is a great way of learning about new places and seeing different parts of the globe. In your 40s, your children would take up most of your time and even money. On the other hand, in your 30s, you could have considered even going for a second honeymoon with there being several exotic locations all over the place.

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        Enjoy the small things in life

        Taking a bicycle trip on a cool cloudy day. Have an ice cream cone with three scoops of ice cream. These are the small joys of life which you enjoyed individually but find little time now since you are drowned most of the time in family obligations and responsibilities.

        Opt for a career/job you love

        When you become a parent, you become less experimental. You tend to stick to the same job, even if you don’t like it, for the sake of maintaining stability for your family. It is then that you feel that you could have had a better sense of satisfaction if had you chosen a job or a sector which you would have loved in the long run.

        Do social service or charity

        There would have been no better phase than your 30s to spend time on social service and charity. You had the time, resources and the energy to indulge in helping other people. It would have also brought a greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in your life.

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        Done research on schools and schooling

        Things can get overwhelming once you have children and when they reach an age that makes them due to be sent to the school. Research done beforehand can be of great help and what better time it could have been that your 30s.

        Be less afraid of parenting

        During your 30s, one will have numerous questions in mind about the various virtues of parenting but most are outright scared to ask them. You don’t want to go around asking people, even your loved ones, about the best parenting tips because you find it silly. Eventually one has a realization that if one would been more inquisitive back then then they would have spent less time on trial and error.

          Reading for kids

          This is something most parents in their 40s would eventually regret. It is always great to know a story or two, to share with your children before you tuck them into the bed!

          By the way, it’s never too late to start if you already haven’t. As they say, 40s are the new 30s!

          Featured photo credit: love-couple pic via thebridalbox.com

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          Last Updated on February 21, 2019

          The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

          The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

          In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

          Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

          Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

          Conflicts are literally everywhere.

          Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

          Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

          Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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          Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

          Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

          Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

          The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

          Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

          Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

          How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

          Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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          Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

          Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

          How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

          Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

          Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

          Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

          How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

          Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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          Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

          Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

          How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

          Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

          Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

          Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

          How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

          Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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          Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

          Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

          How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

          Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

          Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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