The July 2014 Parenting Tip: SMILE!

This month’s parenting tip is super simple!  All you have to do is smile!  Yep, that’s right…SMILE!  It’s pretty amazing how such a simple facial expression can change you and those around you, including your children.

Would you rather be around someone who is always smiling or constantly frowning?  Which person would create a better atmosphere for those around him/her?  I will let you answer.  I have always been a person who loves to laugh and grin, but ever since I had my three boys, my smile seems to be a permanent fixture on my face.  As we know, children emulate what they see.  When I look at my two year old and smile, he always smiles back at me.  When I am stopped at a red light and look back to smile at my kids, I love that all three return the gesture.

It makes me feel great that they are always beaming, laughing and enjoying themselves. If I always had a pout on my face and complained all the time, what then?  I think it’s important for children to be surrounded by happy people.  I want to teach my children to appreciate everything they have and be grateful for the life we live.  I yearn for them to be able to see the beauty in the littlest of things and be able to stay positive when life is unfair or throws them a curveball.  If they see Mommy smiling, being positive and enjoying everything life has to offer, it sets a wonderful example for them to follow.

Smiling is contagious.  If I am at a store and someone smiles at me, I smile back and pass it on to the next person.  If I make eye contact with someone first, I always smile, hoping to put a smile on their face too.  If you ever had a bad mommy day, and who hasn’t, a simple smile from a stranger can turn your whole day around.

A smile really can go a long way.  Next time you are shopping at the supermarket, smile, for no other reason than because you are blessed to be able to buy the food of your choice.  If your little one asks you why you are so happy, let them know.  Next time you are picking the kids up from camp or school, smile because you can’t wait to see them.  When they come through the doors, whether they had a great day or a bad one, they will know a smile is there to greet them.  Next time you are working out, smile because you feel healthy, fit and are are glad to have some time to yourself.  Your smile just might give the guy next to you who is struggling with his weight, a boost of energy and confidence to finish his workout.  Next time your child makes the stinkiest poop you could ever imagine, smile, because soon he will be out of diapers, in school, and embarrassed by your hugs and kisses.  I guarantee he will smile back and his baby giggles will make you forget the dirty disaster you are forced to clean up in his diaper.

I truly believe that what you put out into the universe comes right back to you.  If you are positive, happy and look at life with the glass half full, good things will happen to you.  If you are negative, never satisfied, and tend to focus on what you don’t have instead of what you do have, you will miss out on all the joy life has to offer.

Every parent wants their children to be happy.  If we provide a positive and cheerful atmosphere for them, they will be positive and cheerful people.  Of course not everyone can he happy all of the time and it’s important we don’t discount our children’s feelings of sadness, anger and frustration.  I do however feel that when things don’t go our way, there is always a positive element we can discover.

As I am writing this article in a public place, I have a smile on my face and in the last ten minutes, three people have come up to me and told me to have a wonderful day, asked me how my day is going and told me something personal about themselves.  I would like to think my smile is an invitation to converse, say hello and make someone feel good about themselves.