So many times, I would rather just take the easy way out. I can clear a child’s dishes off the table. I can tell her the answer to that math problem. I can email his teacher to get him out of a jam. But me doing those things now doesn’t teach my kids to do them later.
This comes up again and again for many of us. We let bedtime slip later and later because we don’t want to fight about it. We relent on screen time because we feel guilty that we haven’t modeled moderation ourselves. We let kids out of doing the dishes because they’re facing a mountain of homework.
In the short run, it means we spend a lot of time doing their work, and in the long run, it will mean we haven’t given them what they need to grow up. In parenting, you mostly have to go the long way.
Sometimes, we become happier parents by doing things differently. But mostly, we shift things by changing how we think and feel. Repeat this mantra to yourself when you’re tempted to take a short term action that will come back to bite you (or your kid) in the long run. It will help you resist the urge to do the expedient thing and remind yourself that parenting is a long game if ever there was one.
To learn all ten Happier Parent Mantras, subscribe to our newsletter.