It’s easy to catch a break by handing your phone to your child or extending screen time so you can get things done. Maybe you just agree to another treat so they will give you some peace. These small habits, however, can become patterns that lead to more problems.
Daily schedules are busy and parents are coping with more and more demands. A recent report tells us that 66% of working parents are experiencing “parental burnout.” Sadly this is happening at the same time as a mental health crisis among our children and teens. Shortcuts like more screen time and sugar might be considered “parenting hacks.” And they work in the moment. However, in the long run, they often result in less cooperation, calm, and even happiness in your family. Sugar and screens are associated with pleasure. We, adults, use these solutions to get through the day as well. What’s the problem? We are learning that the biology of pleasure is actually in contrast to the biology of happiness. We do a lot of things that make us feel good in the moment but don’t lead to happiness or a sense of well-being. Kids look to us to help them know how to feel about the world. Are we passing on quick hits of pleasure habits that lead to happiness? Let’s talk.