Guest Blogger: Melanie Nichols
This March, we are sharing a special series of blog posts from Melanie Nichols. This series was originally posted in February 2021. You can find Melanie and her blog here. If you would like to submit to our blog, please email us.
Being a joyful parent or teacher does not mean being happy all the time. Joy comes from something deeper than happiness. It comes from being at peace with who you are and your place in the world. Many articles are written on how to find joy in our lives – from focusing on our relationship with God, to trying a new hobby, to enjoying more sunsets – and one common thread is that being joyful is something we choose, not something that happens to us.
We intentionally choose joy, but there are times when circumstances can make that choice hard to make. An article on Edutopia (link below) shares a few strategies that teachers – and parents too! – can use to reclaim their joy.
1 – Maximize your time – take some time every now and then to pause and reflect on what’s working and what’s not
2 – Build positive relationships – look for ways every day to spend quality time and find common ground
3 – Find support – whether a colleague, a spouse, or a good friend, find someone that you can talk with and can help you process different struggles and emotions
4 – Keep it simple – sometimes a simple solution is the best one
Joyful parenting or teaching does not mean we don’t get frustrated or hide negative emotions from our kids. It does mean we greet our kids with a smile every day and look for positive things to share with them – laughter, praise, and time. Parenting or teaching with joy means we choose to see what is joyful in our children, even on the hard days.