I Just Want to Raise a Happy Kid

"I just want to raise a HAPPY kid!"

I hear this a lot from parents. I think this a lot, about my own kids. Can I be honest? It's starting to annoy me!

You know why? We are so focused on happy & successful that we completely forget about all the handy, wonderful and sublime actions, feelings and thoughts we could encourage our kids to explore, practice and try. Think about it people, what really and truly gets us through life? 

Tolerating S**t: Let's be honest, ya gotta just tolerate those tantrums when kids are four, the eye roll when kids are teens, the heat and humidity, the political shenanigans, the irritating thing your spouse does/doesn't do, and has/hasn't done from the MOMENT you met  them. Let's teach kids how to tolerate s**t, shall we?

Endure: Tell me who has NOT endured a crappy parent, a shaming teacher, a boring class, a bitchy friend, a controlling boyfriend/girlfriend. Didn't we all LEARN, LEARN, LEARN from these crappy, shaming, boring, bitchy and controlling experiences? Life can be crappy, shaming, boring, bitchy and slap us in the face for longer then we like. What can we do? Endure. (We don't necessarily have to suffer while we endure. It's up to us what kind of climate we create around enduring. It can be a cozy and life affirming enduring, or a stingy, whiney and complaining enduring - we get to choose.) Endurance, try it, learn it, live it.

Be Willing/Unwilling: THIS is one of the most powerful phrases I learned from PEP (Parent Encouragement Program).  If I'm willing to do something, I don't have to be in love with it, or be sure it is perfect, or be committed to doing it forever. Let's try it in a few sentences. . . 

I am willing to let you have your phone after school until dinner for this week. (I don't love this, it's not my ideal, AND I'm willing to give it a try. . .  for a week!).  
I am unwilling to let you have your phone after school. I will be willing to review this phone policy once the afternoon routine has been successful for a few weeks. Remind me after Halloween, and we can discuss.
Sweetie, are you willing to help me unload the groceries and then I can get out the messy paints for you while I prep dinner?

Tolerate, endure, be willing/unwilling - Takes the pressure off. Being happy & successful can be stressful and demanding - let's not ask so much of our kids, or ourselves!