My Happiness Project: April

I can’t believe it’s the last day of April and tomorrow’s already May, five months for 2013! Anyway, April’s Happiness Project is all about parenthood and how we parents should lighten up. Sounds easy to do but in reality it is very difficult to achieve.

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Here are the task we must do in order to be a cool & chill parent.

Sing in the morning.

Acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings.

Be a treasure house of happy memories.

Take time for projects.

While these tasks look easy, they aren’t but I’m happy to say that they are so doable. All we need is practice and lots of patience.

SING IN THE MORNING

I don’t sing in the morning but I do sometimes when I shower. It is said that music is the food of the soul. I totally agree. But for me, coffee is the key to a happy day. I always tell my household that before breaking a bad news or any news for that matter, I must drink first my morning cup. Every day is always better after I’ve had my coffee. Whether I lack sleep or had no sleep at all, I can survive. To incorporate music to our mornings, I usually turn on our radio and listen to Wave 89.1 or Magic 89.9 where there’s always feel good music being played. Whenever lil’ Ms. GJG sees me singing and dancing, she follows and we’ve got ourselves locked in our bubble of happiness. We also sing and dance along to her favorite TV shows like Hi 5 and Imagination Movers. Remember, in order to have a stress-free day, we moms must be in a good mood. Do what puts you in a good mood every morning, may it be singing, cooking, dancing, posting a status update or even online shopping (Eeep, guilty beyond reasonable doubt!). You’ll see the difference it makes especially when you take care of your kids. Remember my post about progressive parenting and postive energy? Read them to know that what we feel often reflects in our family & home.

ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY OF PEOPLE’S FEELINGS

What gets into the nerves of us moms? Tantrums. Agree? Even the most poised mom like Charlotte York lost it over a screaming child and just locked herself up in the pantry crying, in one episode of Sex and the City. Tantrums can really get the best of moms. The screaming, the kicking, sometimes the throwing of things can really make even the progressive mothers retort to one thing: spanking. I have actually written a post about it here. I notice I do so whenever I’m too caught up with a lot of things and choose the easy way out instead of explaining and talking to lil’ Ms. GJG. The result of it, she would stop crying but still feels sad, mad or frustrated deeply even more while I on the other hand feels so stressed I can feel a rise in my blood pressure. I figured there’s only one thing to do: acknowledge the reality of people’s feelings. Kids cry for a lot of reason: hungry, tired, sleepy, are the main ones but with lil’ Ms. GJG, its more of frustration. She would throw a fit once she doesn’t get what she wants. Once she’s heard me or her dad say “NO” and after that word nothing would appease her to stop crying. I’ve managed to try and acknowledge her feelings at times. Most of the time it works because we see to it that whatever we promise her, would happen. Say, she’s frustrated she wants to play but seeing her tired and sleepy, we tell her she will play after her nap. As soon as she wakes up, we go out and play. Crisis averted. So now I am reminded that every time she feels upset and frustrated, I must acknowledge and learn about her feelings and the reason behind it. I just need to remind myself every time coz sometimes I forget and still resort to a bit of scolding and spanking.

BE A TREASURE HOUSE OF HAPPY MEMORIES

I’ve noticed whenever lil’ Ms. GJG is happy with a particular activity she always recalls it and tells us her version of the story, starting the sentence with “Remember when…”and all I can hear is happiness. I use this technique to my advantage. Whenever she’s not in the mood to be all silly and giddy with me, I let her remember the things we did that made her happy. I say “Gabbie, remember the last time we went to your dentist? You played with the other kids and the wooden toys. You were very brave when he checked your teeth, remember?” Then Gabbie nods to acknowledge that she indeed remembers. From there, she tells her own story and she’d be so excited in doing so that she’ll forget she was in a bad mood. My tip to moms who have less keen memory like I do, write or better yet take a photo of the happy memories you have with your children. It may not even be a milestone, just something you did that was fun which can be considered a happy thought once remembered. It can be to your advantage once you let them retell and recall these memories.

TAKE TIME FOR PROJECTS

This is something I need to work on. Lil’ Ms. GJG and I don’t have a lot of projects together. We do enjoy doing things together such as putting polish on each others nails, painting and working out. As for projects, we did a doll-making class together. I think it helped us get to know each other better. I saw in her that she is as tedious as I am, wanting to finish the doll we were making that day. She was also very eager to try new things with me which was good because I know she wants to spend time with me. If there’s one thing we like to do together at home that can be considered a “project” it would have to be cooking. She likes helping out in the kitchen, we even joined last year’s cook off at Yummy Eats 2012. Soon I’ll start baking and this will be our little project together which I hope becomes a tradition someday.

Here’s Gabbie’s work which I posted on my Instagram. I took a few seconds to compose my reaction when I saw her peel and break her crayons. I am still working to be a progressive parent. And because I choose to be happy, she was also happy. I’m glad I didn’t sweat the small stuff but instead tried to enjoy moments like this.

I enjoyed this month’s Happiness Project and I’m glad that I can actually see results as I apply them in everyday life. I just pray that He may grant me more patience to continue or at least practice progressive parenting. Coz you know, when you’re traditionally raised as a kid, it’s kinda hard to transition to being a progressive parent. To be a cool and chill kind of parent takes a lot of patience I think. More importantly, it takes a lot of knowledge and understanding on how it works. Here’s to trying and learning being the best parent we can be to our kids. Cheers!

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  • Kathy Carandang Chua

    This is my favorite blog entry. Being a parent can really be a challenge especially when it comes to dealing with tantrums…there are times that I would really almost loose it when one of my girls are being difficult…but spending time with them and creating wonderful memories trumps the times when they become bratinellas :) This is such a nice project, very inspiring. Happy blog anniversary!