Joyful Parenting

Tip 1. Develop humour through:
• Having joke nights
• Joke of the week on the fridge
• Having fun times eg leisure activities.
• Laughing at oneself and the situation.

Tip 2. Have a system of discipline which promotes joy.
• Rules with rewards rather than punishment.
• Focus on what the children do right rather than on what they do wrong.
• Be consistent in rewarding children.
• Use positive supportive, joyful words rather than negative condemning ones.
• Give each child some responsibility.

Tip 3. Have a healthy lifestyle involving:
• Regular exercise eg whole family can go bike riding together. Younger children can be put on carrier baskets. This is usually a very joyful experience.
• Whole family can go walking together, younger ones in strollers. Chatting along the way can be fun and promote a feeling of joy.
• Family could dance together. We know of a family in which the father and his three daughters all go to dancing classes together. They love and enjoy the experience. The mother plays netball, as this is a sport which brings her joy.

Tip 4. Communication: Open, honest and sensitive communication is fundamental to promoting joy.
• Children need to be given opportunities to share negative experiences from school or with peers so that any sadness they are experiencing can be made to evaporate and be replaced with a joyful feeling.
• Family meeting times can provide the forum for discussing what has been sad as well as what has been joyful.
• Communication needs to be empowering, encouraging, humorous and joyful.

Tip 5. Have a positive way of dealing with sibling rivalry.Sibling rivalry can be one of the factors that result in friction which dissipates joy.
• Ensure each child has quality time with at least one parent each week.
• Let each child feel loved, cherished and irreplaceable.
• Celebrate the successes of each.
• Allow children to settle their own differences unless there is violence or an imbalance of power.

Intervening can make it seem the parents are favouring one above the others.

Tip 6. Have a support network
Have a friend or relative you can talk to or to whom you can send the children if you feel like pulling your hair out. Some time alone can return the joyful feeling.

Tip 7. Ensure you have time to nurture yourself
Each day try to do one thing that makes you feel joyful. This can be as simple as reading a book or taking a short walk.

In summary parenting is an occupation for which there is not a preparatory degree.
As some people enjoy their role as parents, others perceive it as a chore whiles yet others actually dislike being parents? We hope that the tips given in this article will inspire all parents to bring more peace, love and joy into their parenting.

© Marguerite Clancy
About the Author: Marguerite’s passion is to help children and adults reach their potential in a more peaceful and joyful world. She is committed to early intervention and prevention. This is evident in her books, services and workshops. She is a trained teacher, counselor, life coach and sandplay therapist. She is the author of Joyful Parenting Inspiring Success, Empowering Children with an Attention Deficit (in English and German) as well as Inspiring Success. All are available from http://cararevitalisationcentre.com They can be downloaded as individual chapters, ebooks or purchased as hard copies.
Chapters which relate to this article are: Chapter 11 of Joyful Parenting which relates to systems of discipline. Chapter 9 of Joyful Parenting contains further in-depth knowledge of communication styles.
Ways of discovering Communication Styles are shown in Inspiring Success available from User friendly Resources:
New Zealand Office Telephone: 0508 500 293; Fax: 0508 500 399.
Australian Office Telephone: 1800 553 890; Fax: 1800 553 891.
Website: http://userfr.com

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