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The True Happiness that Only Parents Understand When Children Do These 40 Small Things

The True Happiness that Only Parents Understand When Children Do These 40 Small Things

Being a parent means navigating a never ending and unexpected myriad of adventures, emotions, celebrations and experiments; and at times living what can be deemed as both the best of and worst of days. It can be the toughest and the most blessed job in the world – so here’s 40 treasured child related moments guaranteed to leave a smile on your face, an acknowledging nod and a glow in your heart.

  1. Snuggling up close
  2. Feeling the warmth and energetic vibrations of their little bodies merging with yours
  3. Sticky little hands and chubby wrists gripping and holding you tight – as though their world depended on it
  4. Feeling their strong beating hearts fluttering against you
  5. Knowing that you are their everything
  6. Crying out only for you, and knowing nobody else but you can help them
  7. Picking them back up after they’ve fallen (physically or metaphorically)
  8. Empowering and reassuring them when another has emotionally hurt them
  9. Being the safe harbour when the world becomes too overwhelming and they need help regaining their bearings
  10. Drawing a picture, singing a song, making up a story, telling a joke for your entertainment only
  11. Doing whatever it takes to engage your full attention and watch your eyes light up and your smile spread from ear to ear
  12. Being privy to all their hopes and fears, secrets and vulnerabilities
  13. Encouraging and applauding their originality and creativity for the same task for the hundredth time
  14. Looking for your encouragement and approval that it is okay to be exactly as they are
  15. Every time they proclaim and express their love and gratitude for you (long may it last!)
  16. Colourful scribbles of unidentifiable objects, out of tune ditties with made up words, never ending stories that have no beginning, middle or end
  17. Repeating made up jokes that they find the hilarious (but make no sense to you!)
  18. Playing make believe, exercising your imagination and creativity and resurrecting your own inner child
  19. Being a single person engaged, enthusiastic and cheerleading audience like no other will ever be
  20. Being gifted hundreds of interesting facts that you probably already know
  21. Laying claim to being the raison d’etre of your child’s budding talents
  22. Being repeatedly informed and re-educated on topics such as the difference between each of the Disney princesses and Skylanders
  23. Having the privilege to play Santa, the tooth fairy, the elf on the shelf, and the Easter bunny
  24. The day they finally recognise that your way is the best way (for now!)
  25. Watching tongues slightly protruding from the lips, eyes glazing over and ears tuning out when utterly absorbed in a task
  26. Being totally occupied by something other than you
  27. Falling asleep on you
  28. FINALLY falling asleep on their own (although this can be a double edged sword!)
  29. Listening in on their conversations with friends on whose mummy or daddy is the best
  30. Knowing you will take on exalted challenges like a knight in shining armour, fighting any monsters or demons that may be lurking to keep them safe
  31. Hearing them say I love you for the first or the millionth time
  32. Listening to their ideas of what they will be like when they grow up
  33. Watching them earnestly attempt to dance and master their body movements
  34. Multiple happy birthday, Christmas and other special occasion cards, notes and letters created for you
  35. Their take on ‘helping’ you
  36. Telling you that you are the most beautiful, brave, amazing, special person ever
  37. Their idea of taking turns and rules when playing a game
  38. Fitting together puzzle pieces that don’t fit together
  39. Tidying up
  40. Knowing that no matter what came before – and what is to come after – it has all been worth it

Featured photo credit: beautiful little girl with her mother outdoors in Autumn via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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