[W]e often hear two different opinions when it comes to parenting; you either put your kids first or you put yourself first, there’s no in-between. Most people tend to agree with this. After all, raising kids is a handful and there are plenty of people out there that think having a child is pretty much the end of your life until they grow old enough to fend for themselves in the world.
However, telling a parent to put themselves before their child can often be seen as controversial and it might even offend or upset the parent, even if they feel like they do need more time to themselves. In fact, some parents might feel guilty putting themselves first–and this is exactly where the problem stems from.
Being a Better Parent – Your Child Looks to You for Inspiration
No matter if you’re a single father or a happily married couple, your child looks at you as their role model, inspiration and will ask you anything they don’t understand. You’re the reason why they exist and you’re also responsible for their every action. Because of this, we often think that we need selflessness to be a good parent.
We think that we need to sacrifice everything for our kids, but is this really the image that we want to portray? A suffering adult, slaving away and barely getting by with minimal sleep?
Your child wants to see you happy, cheerful and full of energy. They want to see you as their role model and they want you to set the example. Selfishness is the missing component here and whether it’s hiring the most expensive divorce lawyers to fight a custody battle to show your child how much they mean to you, or leaving them with a babysitter while you melt stress away with a friend at a spa, there are small acts of selfishness that we can perform in order to make ourselves happier.
After all, if we’re not personally happy, then how can we raise happy children?
Acts of Selflessness Need a Bit of Selfishness
Let’s take a couple of common things that parents do for their kids:
- Ensure that they’re fed healthy meals
- Encourage them to do exercises
- Take extra care of their health
- Teach them not to pick up bad habits
These are four things that we can easily apply to ourselves. We need to be eating healthy meals just like our kids are, but we also need to teach them that eating some greasy comfort food can also soothe the soul and make us happy especially when we’re suffering from a rough day at work.
Likewise, we should encourage our kids to take care of their health by picking up healthy habits like exercise and visiting the doctor, but if our kids don’t see us doing those exact same things, then why should they follow us?
Being a Better Parent – Final Words
The point of this article isn’t to say that being selfish is the best way to be a parent–far from it. We all know that selflessness is a key factor to becoming a good parent, but we should also remember that a bit of selfishness in the mix can make us a happier parent and thus raise happier and more cheerful kids.
Contributed post. Feature image via Unsplash.