The Only Thing Kids Want Are Happy Parents

A record number of new parents today aren't married. And while that may seem somewhat shocking to some, the fact is, kids are OK with it. As long as their parents are happy. Truly. Your kids just want to have a happy mom and a happy dad. The rest -- where you work, your marital status, and everything else -- matters far less. 

So the next time you find yourself wondering whether something you're doing makes your kids happy, first you should ask yourself if it makes you happy.

This is why mom and dad need to work on their happiness above all. Leslie Morgan Steiner says:

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What kids do care about, tremendously, is how happy mom and dad are, how accessible each parent is to them, and how emotionally and economically stable the family is. This extends to marital status, too. What matters most to children is that their family -- no matter how family is defined -- is steady, supportive, and happy. Sometimes, marriage -- with all its pressures and stereotypes -- increases a couple’s commitment to stay together. Sometimes, marriage creates tensions all its own, sowing the seeds of its own demise.

Kids want to see happy parents, period. They want parents who are happy with one another, happy in their jobs, and happy all around. This is why this whole idea that parents should devote themselves entirely to their child is silly.

Moms and dads need date nights. They need yoga or running or Pilates or reading. They need to feel whole as people before they can be whole as parents. And happy parents raise happy men and women. It stands to reason.

So the next time you feel guilty about hiring a babysitter so you can run to the yoga studio or see a movie with the father of your children, consider the long-term benefit of doing things for yourself first. What children care about more than anything is having relaxed parents who enjoy life and enjoy each other, married or otherwise.

So be happy. It's the best long-term investment you can make for you kids.

Do you work on being happy?

 

Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr

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