3 Simple Habits: How to Notice the Good as a Parent
This week we’re spotlighting Sarah Bragg, author of A Mother’s Guide to Raising Herself: What Parenting Taught Me About Life, Faith and Myself and host of the podcast Surviving Sarah.
Today she’s sharing simple habits to help you notice the good – tips and practices perfect for patents and also useful for anyone looking to manage stress and create more joyful habits.
Read on to learn 3 simple habits you can use to slow down, practice gratitude, and notice the good even on tough days.
Noticing the Good with Author Sarah Bragg
1. Noticing the good in the daily grind of parenting can be tough! What’s one simple habit that can help us slow down and notice the good amidst the chaos?
I have had the opportunity to interview quite a few experts on my podcast, Surviving Sarah, one of which America’s Super Nanny, Dr. Deborah Tillman.
As we talked offline about how I was struggling to have a positive posture towards my children, she said that I needed to start noticing the good.
I had spent so much time writing a list in my head of all the hard and negative things, no wonder my posture toward my daughters was defensive.
I needed to change the way I thought about parenting. When we change the way we think, we change our lives. We need to notice the good.
So, I began then, writing down all the good I saw in my child.
I kept a journal by my bed and at night, I would make my list.
I would reframe the negative traits as positive ones.
Noticing the good changed my perspective in parenting.
This habit has become one of the biggest survival skills for me in parenting.
2. We all have days when the kids’ are getting on our last nerve and our patience is running thin. Can you share a habit that can help us hone in on the good even on the hard days?
I know exactly what it feels like to lose your patience and feel like your kids are on your very last nerve!
I started the habit of taking a “smoke break” when that happens.
Not literally — I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life, but it dawned on me one day that people who smoke often get to stop what they are doing, walk outside, and take a break.
That is exactly what we need to do (minus the cigarette part). We need to stop what we are doing, walk away, and breathe.
For me, my smoke breaks usually taking a walk outside.
Sometimes I listen to music or a podcast.
Sometimes I just listen to the sounds around me.
Sometimes I walk with a friend.
It’s in those walks that I can come back to a rational thinking brain.
Oxygen returns to my brain as I breathe.
And when that happens, I am more able to see the good even when the day is hard.
Gratitude as an Essential Practice
3. Learning gratitude has allowed me to teach my own daughter how to use it in her own life. What’s a habit we can teach our kids when it comes to noticing the good?
When kids are little, happiness is around nearly every corner (unless you decide to limit their cookies).
But as they grow older, they start to become more like us and happiness is harder to come by.
I wanted to figure out a way to help my girls cultivate more joy in their lives. And from my own experience, I knew the answer was gratitude.
That’s why at night as I tucked them in bed when they were little or around the dinner table, I’d ask: What made you smile today?
I know that gratitude is connected to joy and happiness, but my girls don’t understand that yet.
But hopefully, the practice of asking them this question will eventually help them get to the point where they begin to ask it of themselves.
4. Tell us more about the book! Why did you write it and what do you hope to get out of it?
I value curiosity, connection and courage.
As I looked at all the ways that parenting was raising me, I wanted to share those with other moms.
I wanted other moms to experience the growth that I’ve experienced.
I wanted other moms to have permission to discover their authentic self and feel permission to let her be.
Raising kids pushed me to come face to face with my own uncertainties, fears, tendencies towards perfectionism, and inauthenticity.
And as I wrestled with those things, certain phrases started to rise to the surface.
I began saying these phrases to myself in order to grow up, to become, to be raised.
This book highlights over 20 phrases that helped raise me.
Instead of being given a list of steps or a specific formula, you will receive a list of phrases that will guide you to becoming your truest self.
The more freedom you find for yourself to be yourself, the more accepting and loving you become.
And the best gift we can give to our children is a mom who is true to herself, who shows up and is brave enough to do the work.
More Practices for Parents
I often get asked for feel good parenting resources. If this topic resonated with you, pick up a copy of Sarah Bragg’s new book here to take these tactical tips even further!
Sarah Bragg is a popular podcast host, communicator, and author. You can find her on iTunes hosting the podcast Surviving Sarah. She is also the author of A Mother’s Guide to Raising Herself: What Parenting Taught Me About Life, Faith and Myself. She is also a wife, mother of girls, and a creative entrepreneur. Sarah is a master at brewing coffee and helping others survive well right where they are. Sarah and her family reside in Tennessee. You can find more from her at SarahBragg.com and @sarahwbragg
other feel good resources you’ll love
- 3 Simple Habits to Be a More Mindful Parent
- How to Create a Self-Care Checklist (Designed to Work for the Real You in Real Life)
- 3 Ways to Practice Self-Compassion with Dr. Kristin Neff
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