With 2021 starting off on a very rocky and uncertain path, Nadim Saad, founder of The Happy Confident Company, parenting expert, and father of three girls, recommends the five skills that will help us navigate the stormy waters and find strength, happiness, and balance.
1. Bring out your inner child
The adage that the world is a better place through the eyes of a child is so true. Children under five see more wonder, less negativity, are more hopeful, and have greater self-belief. As new parents, we see the world through our baby’s eyes, we roll on the floor, are down at their level, might take to the swings, we play with them on the floor. We have fun together, teaching them, nurturing them, learning together. We are so connected. Because, we have pulled our inner child to the fore, enabling us to play, to have fun, to see delight. The reality is that as they grow older, we tend to repress our inner child, with all the demands and responsibilities of our lives at this stage.
But the reality is that the best way to be happier and also to better connect with our children is to continue to listen to, and be driven by, our inner child. Maintaining this connection, keeping the fun, curiosity and vulnerability of our inner child alive. We need to trust that we are being true to ourselves and to become more confident in our actions.
2. Instil a positive morning routine
Our brains are better able to process intentions and positive things as soon as we wake up so it’s important to begin on a positive note to set you up for the day ahead. A simple, and powerful morning routine that slots in ahead of daily tasks will make all the difference. It doesn’t need to take long, but the regularity is key. Resolving to start the day well, every day, will give you and your family more that you could imagine. Here are some simple ideas:
- Take time for positive affirmations and setting a few intentions/goals for the day. In setting these intentions daily, we are also more likely to achieve them, and at the end of the day, not only have a greater level of positivity, but also confidence in our ability to succeed. Don’t over think these, they can be as simple as wanting to spend 15 minutes of quality time with your child, calling someone you haven’t spoken to for a while or even expressing more gratitude to others. This exercise can be done alone, or with your other family members, each setting out intentions and then able to share your success in the evening
- Try listening to some feel-good music or do a quick meditation, whatever works best for you.
- Do some fun exercises like jumping jacks with the kids to get the positive energy flowing and increasing the likelihood that they will get on with their morning routine.
3. Connect at a deeper level and share more
We need to connect at a deeper level with those we love and to build stronger emotional connections than ever before. Share more by making time to share feelings, emotions, talk about the things that have gone well each day/week. Whether at work, or at home. Use empathy to strengthen this connection. Start trying to examine the challenges, fears and worries that your children may feel by putting yourself in their shoes, tapping into your inner child, try and visualise yourself in that position. Rather than trying to fix their problems, support their concerns. Help them feel validated.
4. Focus on things that matter
Stop worrying about the little things, instead opting for a ‘big picture’ approach. A good way to check whether something really matters or not, is to put things in perspective by asking yourself: “Will this matter in 1 year?”. If not, try to let it go by focusing on something more positive!
5. End the day on a positive
A number of scientific studies have proven that by ending the day writing down and reflecting on three things that you are grateful for, or have gone well in the past day, you will see reap the benefits of a positive emotional impact. You’ll have greater optimism, be more satisfied with your life, be happier, and it will help you sleep better. No matter how big or small, it all counts – it can be as simple as the weather or the food you ate! Help your kids get into this habit early in life too. A well-structured, colourful journal offers a great incentive for children to want to do it at the end of each day. Daily journaling is also a great way to connect with your child(ren), by providing a great time for them to confide in you by sharing their feelings, their successes as well as their challenges.
Each of these tips can make a real difference in your happiness and confidence. And by making them into daily positive habits you will begin to see the benefits of small changes that can have a huge impact. So, look after yourself, and those around you, just one small daily habit can make all the difference.
Here at The Happy Confident Company, we know that parents need all the support they can get. That’s why we promote the use of tools to make positive daily changes with ease. There are many fantastic resources available from a growing number of companies entering into this field. Our own journals, activity sheets, and games have all been developed on the back of decades of scientific research and with the input of experts, therapists, parents, teachers, and children. Check out the tools available.
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