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My daily "Finding Joy In My Kids" practice

How to delight in your children even when they are grumpy, tired, and needy.

Every day I try to write down at least one thing that my kids did that delighted me.

I try to find something that they did that I found cute, or interesting, or just want to remember.

I call this my "Finding Joy In My Kids" practice, and it helps to focus my mind on the things that I enjoy about my children. The things that make it worth being a parent.

Today has been a challenging day, because both my kids are home sick. They are sick, grumpy, and needy, but there are still things they do that delight me.

Here's one: my 4 year old daughter has a teddy bear we call Stinky Bear, because it is very dirty. It is dirty because she takes it everywhere with her, and washing it is risky as it is very old and falling apart.

She loves this teddy bear.

This morning she was lying next to me, crying, because she was feeling sick. "My ears are sore," she complained. "Ouchy, ouchy, ouchy," she exclaimed every now and then.

But then, every few minutes, in between the crying, she would take old Stinky Bear, pull his face across her face, and make a long slurping noise. After the second or third time, I asked her what she is doing.

"Stinky Bear is licking me to help me feel better," she replied.


Kids are wonderful. They are fascinating to watch. I love my kids very much.

Which is why I always feel terrible when I get mad at them. Or when I yell at them. Or when I feel like I have to punish them when they misbehave. How can I get angry for these little people that I love so much?

But the reality is that kids will misbehave. They will do things to upset us. But this doesn't have to be all negative.

In fact, with the right tools and strategies, you can turn misbehavior into opportunities to teach, and build a deeper connection with your child.

Amy McCready explains this idea in her webinar, My 5-Step No-Yelling Formula Gets Your Kids To Listen:

Kids do better when we use strategies that give kids the power that they need within the limits that you as the parent feel good about. Discipline is not punishment. Discipline comes from the Latin word disciples or disciple, which means a pupil or learner. Discipline teaches kids to make better choices in the future rather than inflicting blame, shame, and pain for making mistakes in the past.

Amy McCready - My 5-Step No-Yelling Formula Gets Your Kids To Listen

In the webinar, Amy explains the right way to use consequences to teach your child how to behave and to take personal responsibility, instead of just as a way of punishing them, which only ends up teaching them to lie better.

You can sign up for Amy's free webinar, My 5-Step No-Yelling Formula Gets Your Kids To Listen, here.

Sue Meintjes