Advertising
Advertising

15 Things Only Parents Of More Than One Child Would Understand

15 Things Only Parents Of More Than One Child Would Understand

Children are truly amazing, but being in charge of more than one at any given time can be a genuine challenge. If you are a parent of more than one kid, you know what was difficult with one can snowball into quite an adventure with multiples! But you’ve gained some real insight into parenthood on your journey. You go you! Here are a few things parents with more than one kid learn through the experience:

1. You know calendars make for sane parents

When your kids hit the after school activity age, thing get busy in a hurry. Your daughter has ballet, softball, and karate while your son needs to get to his music lessons, basketball practice and his volunteer project at the animal shelter. Add all your regular shopping needs and the PTA meeting you’re hosting, and you have got to keep a ton of stuff organized. The solution? Break out the planner. Whatever calendar system you use, you love it and know that its the key to the land of sanity.

2. You realize sleep is a precious commodity

Keeping up with one kiddo can really drain you. This is especially true when your offspring are very young. Add a toddler to the household of a newborn and suddenly parents start to forget what sleep can feel like. But oh, when they find a moment to snooze it can be so wonderful.

Advertising

3. You understand the value of a giggle fest

While the kids may make you tired, they are also so darn cute. The silly things they do can induce a big laugh which can lead the whole group into bursts of laughter! As your kids and you are laughing hysterically, you realize just how awesome your life is.

4. You know how to prioritize happiness over task lists

With multiple kids, you simply can’t get everything done everyday. In order to stay clam and happy, you’ve learned how to determine what things are most important and what things can wait for another day. While the trash really needs to find its way to the dumpster, that pan from dinner really can wait. After all, tonight is simply better spent watching Toy Story with your daughters.

5. You are filled with joy when your kids play together

One of the best parts of having more than one child is seeing them interact. Sure this can seem negative when they are pulling each other’s hair and playing tag in the aisles of the grocery store, but in those moments where they are sharing their favorite toy and laughing together at the silly cartoon, you know that this is what its all about. Nothing can fill the heart faster than watching two of your kids be kind to each other.

Advertising

6. You know how to work the relatives for babysitting

When its your turn to go to a grown-up event, you see a perfect opportunity to squeeze in some grandma, niece, or cousin quality time. These little bundles of joy won’t be little forever, so why not pull in some trusted relatives to enjoy the journey. Plus, family baby sitters tend to come with a nice discount. Score!

7. You love buying in bulk

Trips to the grocery store become more complicated with several kids. Fortunately, buying in bulk decreases the number of trips dramatically. Who wants to spend time walking through the laundry soap aisle when you could be having princess tea time with your kids?

8. You realize little people can create a lot of mess

Even though you may only have a family of four or five, the amount of dirt and mess generated can get out of hand quickly. Just because your kids are small that does not mean your cleaning regiment is small. But, that’s ok. Cleaning up a bit seems like a small price for all the laughs and joy of taking care of this family.

Advertising

9. You’ve got packing lunch down to a system

When the kiddos reach school age, they need some lunch to take with them. When you’ve got multiples to prep, you’ve got to make sure nothing gets left behind. To get everyone ready, you’ve got the lunch boxes ready and a tried and true system to fill them.

10. You drop some knowledge when your single child friends complain

For every problem a parent with one child has, a parent with multiple kids gets those issues compounded. Trouble getting the house clean, try multiplying that by twice the number of kids. Issues with scheduling play dates, try doubling the headache. Single child parents are cute, but they don’t even know. Fortunately, you are here to help them out.

11. You know it gets easier by the second or third child

With your first child you were stressing out about everything from getting the bottle to the right temperature to what kind of music he or she fell asleep to. By kid number two or three, you’ve got all that stuff figured out. You know what is worth your mental energy and what isn’t.

Advertising

12. You love going to the park

The kids get to run around, and you get to sit and supervise. Sure you may be called in to repair a boo boo or provide a snack refuel, but really you just get some time to relax while the kids get rid of their pent up energy. Your relaxation time is made all the sweeter knowing they will sleep well tonight.

13. You know not to play favorites

That one time you gave your daughter a slightly bigger piece of candy than your son made this situation very clear. You spend time making sure each child understands they are loved and equally special. You can see the stress playing favorites can cause, and you work hard to prevent it.

14. You buy toys in multiples

If one child gets a toy, its important that the other child receives something as well. So long as the kids preferences for toys are similar, the best choice is to buy in multiples. This keeps everyone on an even level and makes your life in the toy department a lot simpler.

15. You love story time

Reading stories to your kids is the best. Not only do we get the opportunity to snuggle, but watching their imagination take flight while engaging with literature is truly special. If you had your way, you would have story time all the time. Bonus- the kiddos often nap after their literary adventures!

Featured photo credit: gellert via pixabay.com

More by this author

10 Things Only Those Who Travel With Friends Understand 8 Best Ways to Organize Your Apps 10 Questions To Ask Before Marriage 7 Things Only Backpackers Would Understand The 15 Most Underrated Colleges In America

Trending in Communication

1 7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language 2 How to Apologize When You Have Made a Mistake 3 7 Science-Backed Books About Spirituality That Will Change Your Life 4 20 Things Life Is Too Short to Worry About 5 How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

Advertising

1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

Advertising

3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

Advertising

It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

Advertising

Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next