Unlock the Joy: How to Enjoy Parenting at Its Best

  • By: Stephanie Hogan
  • Time to read: 20 min.
Stephanie Hogan
The driving force behind Simply Working Mama, is a multifaceted professional, devoted mother, and visionary entrepreneur. With a passion for empowering moms in the modern workplace, Stephanie brings a unique blend of expertise, authenticity, and relatability to her role as the founder of this empowering platform.

Parenting can be challenging, but it is possible to find joy in the journey. By following some simple tips and strategies, you can enhance your parenting experience and create a happier family life. Let’s explore some effective ways to enjoy parenting more and unlock the joy of being a parent.

Contents show

How to Enjoy Parenting Key Takeaways

  • Model positive behavior to teach your child important values and habits.
  • Establish a daily rhythm to provide stability and reduce conflicts.
  • Redirect your child’s behavior by showing them the desired actions.
  • Focus on positive instructions and guide your child in the right direction.
  • Appreciate your child’s efforts without excessive praise and encourage a growth mindset.

Modeling: Setting the Right Example for Your Child

Children learn by watching and imitating their parents. As a parent, you have the opportunity to be a positive role model for your child and teach them important values and habits. By modeling the behavior and actions you want to see in your child, you can guide them towards becoming kind, respectful, and responsible individuals.

Show your child how to use polite language by saying “please” and “thank you” in your interactions with others. Engage in activities that demonstrate positive behaviors, such as helping others, sharing, and expressing gratitude. Choose stories, books, and media that feature characters who exhibit these qualities, reinforcing the importance of positive behavior.

Consistency in modeling is key. Be mindful of your own behavior and strive to demonstrate the values and habits you want your child to develop. By setting the right example, you can inspire your child to adopt these behaviors and values, laying a strong foundation for their future.

Modeling Tips:Benefits:
Use polite languageTeaches respect and good manners
Show empathy and kindnessEncourages compassion and caring
Practice gratitude and appreciationFosters a positive mindset
Engage in acts of kindnessPromotes a sense of community and helping others

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”

Teaching by example:

  • Modeling positive behaviors teaches children the importance of kindness, respect, and responsibility.
  • Show your child how to use polite language and engage in acts of kindness.
  • Choose stories and media that feature characters who exhibit positive behaviors.
  • Be consistent in your own behavior and actions to inspire your child to adopt these values.

Modeling is a powerful way to guide your child’s development and shape their character. By setting the right example and being a positive role model, you can instill important values and habits that will benefit them throughout their lives. Remember, the way you behave and interact with others is a reflection of the values you want to instill in your child, so make every effort to be the role model they need.

Establishing a Rhythm for the Day

When it comes to parenting, having a daily rhythm or routine can make a world of difference. Not only does it provide a sense of structure and predictability for both you and your child, but it also helps reduce conflicts and make daily activities smoother. While flexibility is important, having a consistent rhythm can create a sense of stability and calm for the entire family.

Divide your day into blocks with specific activities or tasks. For example, set designated times for mealtimes, playtime, naptime, and bedtime. This way, your child knows what to expect and can anticipate their daily routine. Be sure to update the routine regularly to adapt to your child’s changing needs and developmental stages. As they grow, their sleep patterns and feeding schedules will change, so it’s important to accommodate these shifts.

Remember, a routine doesn’t have to be rigid. Allow for flexibility within the structure. Life happens, and unexpected events may disrupt your routine from time to time. Embrace these moments as opportunities for growth and adaptability. By establishing a rhythm for the day, you can create a harmonious environment where both you and your child thrive.

Benefits of a Daily Routine:

  • Provides a sense of predictability and stability for your child
  • Reduces conflicts and makes daily activities smoother
  • Helps your child develop a sense of time and understanding of daily rhythms
  • Creates opportunities for learning and growth
  • Promotes healthy habits and self-discipline

Sample Daily Routine:

7:00 AMWake up and get dressed
7:30 AMBreakfast
8:00 AMPlaytime or structured activity
10:00 AMSnack
10:30 AMOutdoor play or outing
12:00 PMLunch
1:00 PMNaptime
3:00 PMSnack
3:30 PMCreative play or learning activity
5:00 PMFree play
6:00 PMDinner
7:00 PMBath time and bedtime routine

By establishing a daily rhythm, you can create a nurturing environment where your child feels secure and supported. The consistency and structure of a routine not only provide a sense of stability but also help your child develop important life skills, such as time management and self-discipline. So why wait? Start creating a daily routine that works for you and your family, and unlock the benefits it brings to your parenting journey.

Redirection: Guiding Your Child’s Behavior Positively

When it comes to guiding your child’s behavior, positive discipline through redirection is an effective approach. Instead of simply telling your child what not to do, this method focuses on showing them the desired behavior and redirecting their actions in a positive way. By using empathy and understanding, you can help your child understand appropriate behavior while maintaining a healthy and loving relationship.

For example, if your child hits their sibling, calmly rephrase their action and demonstrate a gentle way to interact, such as hugging instead. This approach helps them understand that physical aggression is not acceptable and provides them with an alternative way to express their emotions. By consistently redirecting their behavior, you are teaching them valuable skills and reducing the chances of repeated negative actions.

Positive redirection also encourages your child’s emotional development. Instead of shaming or punishing them for their actions, you are guiding them towards more appropriate ways of expressing themselves. This approach fosters empathy, problem-solving skills, and self-regulation. It allows your child to learn from their mistakes and grow into a compassionate and responsible individual.

Benefits of Redirection:

  • Teaches appropriate behavior
  • Builds empathy and understanding
  • Encourages problem-solving skills
  • Promotes emotional development
  • Strengthens parent-child relationship

Remember, redirection is not about ignoring or avoiding difficult behavior. It’s about addressing it in a positive and constructive way. By guiding your child’s behavior with empathy and redirection, you can help them navigate the world and develop into confident and well-rounded individuals.

Focusing on Positive Instructions

When it comes to guiding your child’s behavior, using positive instructions can be highly effective. Instead of constantly telling your child what not to do, focus on providing clear and constructive guidance on what they should do instead. This approach promotes effective communication and helps your child understand acceptable alternatives.

For example, if your child is drawing on the walls, instead of saying, “Don’t draw on the walls,” you can say, “Let’s draw on this paper instead.” By offering a positive solution and immediately redirecting their attention to a more suitable activity, you are reinforcing positive behavior and avoiding unnecessary negative commands.

Positive instructions not only guide your child in the right direction but also foster a sense of empowerment and independence. They encourage your child to make choices and learn from their experiences, building their decision-making skills from an early age.

“Let’s draw on this paper instead.”

Benefits of Using Positive Instructions

Using positive instructions in your parenting approach offers several benefits:

  • Encourages cooperation: Positive instructions are more likely to elicit cooperation from your child, as they feel supported and empowered to make appropriate choices.
  • Builds a positive parent-child relationship: By focusing on positive instructions, you create a more positive and harmonious atmosphere, fostering a strong and nurturing bond with your child.
  • Promotes effective communication: Positive instructions enhance communication between you and your child, enabling you to convey your expectations in a clear and constructive manner.
  • Supports your child’s development: Offering positive instructions helps your child develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and decision-making abilities, setting them up for success in various areas of life.

By incorporating positive instructions into your parenting approach, you can foster a positive and supportive environment that allows your child to thrive and grow.

Positive InstructionsNegative Commands
Let’s clean up our toys together.Stop leaving your toys everywhere.
Use your indoor voice.Quit shouting!
Hold my hand while crossing the street.Don’t run off!
Put your dishes in the sink when you’re done.Stop being so messy!


Using positive instructions is a valuable parenting strategy that promotes effective communication, cooperation, and your child’s development. By focusing on what your child should do rather than what they shouldn’t do, you create a more positive and supportive environment. Encourage your child’s decision-making skills and guide them in the right direction with clear and constructive instructions.

Avoiding Unnecessary Praise: Balancing Encouragement and Realistic Expectations

Acknowledging and appreciating your child’s efforts is important, but excessive and unnecessary praise can have unintended consequences. It’s crucial to strike a balance between providing encouragement and setting realistic expectations. By doing so, you can foster their intrinsic motivation and help them develop a healthy sense of self-worth.

Instead of constantly praising your child for everyday tasks or accomplishments, focus on acknowledging their efforts and expressing gratitude. For example, if they help set the table for dinner, you can say, “Thank you for being such a helpful and responsible member of our family. Your contribution makes a difference.” This type of acknowledgment recognizes their contribution without excessive praise that may lead to dependency on external validation.

Encouraging a growth mindset is also important. Highlight their perseverance and problem-solving skills when they face challenges. Instead of saying, “You’re so smart,” you can say, “I’m proud of how you didn’t give up and found a creative solution to the problem.” This type of feedback focuses on their effort and resilience, promoting a belief that effort and learning are more valuable than innate abilities.

By avoiding unnecessary praise and providing balanced encouragement, you can help your child develop a healthy sense of self-esteem and motivation. Remember to acknowledge their efforts, encourage a growth mindset, and emphasize the value of perseverance and problem-solving skills.

Benefits of Avoiding Excessive Praise:

  • Promotes intrinsic motivation and self-worth
  • Encourages a growth mindset and resilience
  • Develops a healthy sense of self-esteem
  • Fosters independence and internal validation
  • Emphasizes the importance of effort and learning

Remember, your child’s journey is about growth and development. By balancing encouragement with realistic expectations, you can help them become confident individuals who are motivated by their own achievements and personal growth.

Parenting ApproachEffect
Excessive PraiseCreates dependency on external validation
Unrealistic ExpectationsMay lead to feelings of constant pressure
Balanced EncouragementPromotes intrinsic motivation and self-worth

Promoting Decision-Making Skills and Fostering Independence

In order to raise an independent and confident child, it is important to provide them with information and opportunities to make decisions. By giving your child the tools to make choices and encouraging their decision-making skills, you are helping them develop a sense of autonomy and self-confidence. Rather than simply giving commands, provide your child with information and allow them to weigh their options and come to their own conclusions.

This approach not only fosters independence but also encourages critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. By involving your child in the decision-making process, you are empowering them to take ownership of their choices and learn from their experiences. The ability to make decisions and learn from the outcomes is a crucial life skill that will serve them well in the future.

Remember to offer choices within appropriate limits. Present your child with two or three options that you are comfortable with, ensuring that all choices are age-appropriate and align with your values and boundaries. This helps guide your child’s decision-making process while still allowing them a sense of agency and control. By providing them with the necessary information and guidance, you are setting them up for success in making their own decisions.

Benefits of Promoting Decision-Making Skills:

  • Enhances independence and self-confidence
  • Fosters critical thinking and problem-solving abilities
  • Teaches responsibility and ownership of choices
  • Prepares children for future decision-making challenges
  • Helps develop a sense of autonomy and agency

“By involving your child in the decision-making process, you are empowering them to take ownership of their choices and learn from their experiences.”

By giving information rather than commands, you are teaching your child to think critically and evaluate options. This approach also reinforces the importance of communication and respect in decision-making processes. As a parent, it is important to provide guidance and support while allowing your child the freedom to choose and learn from their decisions.

Offering Choices within Limits

When it comes to fostering decision-making skills in your child, offering choices within limits is a key strategy. By providing options and boundaries, you empower your child while ensuring their decisions align with your family values and safety requirements.

Offering choices allows your child to develop their decision-making abilities and feel a sense of control over their own lives. For example, you can present them with two options for activities or tasks, such as choosing between reading a story or playing independently. This not only encourages their independence but also helps them learn to weigh alternatives and make decisions.

However, it is important to set limits and guide their choices. You can explain why certain options are not viable or safe, helping them understand the boundaries. Consistency in explaining the choices and their implications is crucial for your child to comprehend the reasoning behind the limits.

Benefits of offering choices within limits
1. Encourages decision-making skills: By allowing your child to make choices, you foster their ability to analyze options and consider consequences.
2. Develops a sense of autonomy: Making choices within limits helps your child feel empowered and in control of their own decisions.
3. Enhances responsibility: By making choices, your child learns to take responsibility for their actions and understand the impact of their decisions.
4. Supports problem-solving skills: When faced with choices, your child learns to evaluate alternatives and think critically, fostering problem-solving abilities.

Remember, the goal is to guide your child in making informed choices that promote their growth and well-being. By offering choices within limits, you encourage their decision-making skills while ensuring a safe and supportive environment.

Providing Advance Notice and Preparation

Transitions can be challenging for children, often resulting in resistance and meltdowns. However, by giving your child advance notice and preparing them for upcoming changes, you can help ease this transition and create a more smooth and positive experience for both of you.

When it’s time to transition from one activity to another, such as ending playtime or getting ready for bed, give your child a heads-up. Let them know in advance that the current activity will be ending after a certain period, allowing them time to mentally prepare for the change. For example, you can say, “In 10 minutes, it will be time to clean up and get ready for dinner.”

Preparing your child for transitions also involves explaining what will happen next and what they can expect. This can help reduce anxiety and uncertainty, as they have a clear understanding of what is coming. Use simple language and be specific about the next steps. For instance, you can say, “After we clean up, we will wash our hands and sit down at the table to eat.”

By giving advance notice and preparing your child for transitions, you can minimize resistance and tantrums, as they feel more in control and aware of what’s happening. Remember to provide gentle reminders as the transition time approaches, and offer reassurance and support throughout the process.

Table: Example Transition Notice and Preparation

TransitionAdvance NoticePreparation
Ending Playtime“In 10 minutes, we’ll need to clean up and get ready for dinner.”Explain the next steps: “After we clean up, we will wash our hands and sit down at the table to eat.”
Leaving the Park“We have 5 more minutes to play, then we’ll be heading home.”Gather belongings, encourage a smooth transition: “Let’s say goodbye to the playground and start walking towards the exit.”
Transitioning to Bedtime“In 15 minutes, it will be time to brush our teeth and get ready for bed.”Explain the bedtime routine: “After we brush our teeth, we will put on our pajamas, read a story, and go to sleep.”

Embracing Time-In for Connection and Understanding

Parenting is not only about discipline and correction; it is also an opportunity to connect deeply with your child on an emotional level. By embracing time-in, you can foster a strong emotional connection, build trust, and strengthen your bond with your little one. Time-in involves creating a calm and loving space where you can engage with your child one-on-one, free from distractions and judgment.

During a time-in, you have the chance to listen to your child’s feelings, validate their emotions, and offer comfort and support. It’s important to be present and actively engaged, giving your undivided attention. Show empathy and understanding as you communicate with your child, allowing them to express themselves openly and honestly.

Benefits of Time-InHow to Implement Time-In
  • Builds trust and a sense of security
  • Enhances emotional intelligence
  • Encourages healthy communication
  • Strengthens the parent-child bond
  • Create a calm and quiet space
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Listen actively and attentively
  • Validate your child’s emotions
  • Offer comfort and support

By regularly incorporating time-in into your parenting routine, you provide a safe haven for your child to express their emotions and thoughts. This practice promotes a deeper understanding of each other and allows you to work together to find solutions and resolve conflicts. Time-in is not a disciplinary measure but rather a tool for connection and growth.

The Power of Emotional Connection

“Time-in allows you to build a strong emotional connection with your child, creating a foundation of trust, empathy, and understanding that will benefit them throughout their lives.” -Dr. Sarah Thompson

As you engage in time-in with your child, it’s important to remember that the goal is not to change or suppress their emotions but to acknowledge and validate them. This validation helps your child develop emotional intelligence and learn to navigate their feelings in a healthy way.

Through time-in, you show your child that their emotions matter and that you are there to support them. This emotional connection provides them with a sense of security and confidence, knowing that they can turn to you for comfort and understanding. By embracing time-in, you can create a loving and nurturing environment that fosters healthy emotional development.

Choosing Your Battles Wisely

When it comes to parenting, it’s crucial to choose your battles wisely. Not every disagreement or situation requires intense intervention. By prioritizing conflicts and practicing positive parenting, you can foster a more harmonious environment and reduce power struggles with your child.

Positive parenting involves assessing the importance of each issue and considering whether it aligns with your child’s well-being and core values. Instead of getting caught up in minor disagreements, focus on the bigger picture and the overall development of your child. This approach allows you to maintain a healthy parent-child relationship while teaching your child valuable lessons.

Remember, selective battles don’t mean ignoring important issues or allowing your child to behave inappropriately. It means setting clear boundaries and addressing conflicts that truly matter. By doing so, you create a positive atmosphere where your child feels heard and understood, and you can focus on nurturing their emotional growth.

Benefits of Selective Battles

  • Reduced power struggles and conflict
  • Increased cooperation from your child
  • Improved communication and understanding
  • Development of problem-solving skills

“When we prioritize conflicts, we prioritize our relationship with our child.” – Parenting Expert

By choosing your battles wisely and embracing positive parenting strategies, you can create an environment where your child feels supported and understood. Focus on what truly matters and enjoy a more peaceful and fulfilling parenting journey.

Planning Enjoyable Activities and Outings

Incorporate enjoyable activities and outings into your routine to break the monotony and create lasting memories with your child. Spending quality time together is not only fun, but it also strengthens your bond and creates a positive family dynamic. By planning activities that align with your child’s interests and preferences, you can ensure a memorable experience for both of you.

Here are some ideas for fun activities:

  • Go for a nature walk in a local park or botanical garden. Encourage your child to observe and interact with nature.
  • Visit a museum or art gallery to expose your child to new ideas and concepts. Many museums offer interactive exhibits specifically designed for children.
  • Plan a family movie night complete with popcorn and cozy blankets. Let your child choose their favorite movie and enjoy the evening together.
  • Arrange a playdate with other children to promote socialization and build friendships. Organize games, crafts, or a small picnic to make the playdate more engaging.

“Childhood should be filled with laughter, adventure, and cherished memories. By planning enjoyable activities and outings, you are creating a treasure trove of experiences that will last a lifetime.” – Unknown

Remember, it’s not always about the grand gestures or expensive outings. Even simple activities like baking cookies together, having a picnic in the backyard, or building a fort can bring immense joy to your child. The key is to be present in the moment, engage with your child, and create an atmosphere of love and fun.

So, take the time to plan exciting activities and outings that will create lasting memories for both you and your child. Enjoy the journey and savor these precious moments together.

Prioritizing Self-Care and Nurturing Your Relationships

As a parent, it’s easy to get caught up in the demands of daily life and put your own needs on the back burner. However, taking care of yourself is crucial for your well-being and your ability to enjoy the parenting journey. Prioritizing self-care allows you to recharge, reduce stress, and be the best version of yourself for your child. Here are some self-care tips for parents:

  1. Find time for yourself: Carve out moments in your day to do something that brings you joy. Whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk, or practicing a hobby, make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine.
  2. Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to reach out to your support system when you need it. Whether it’s your partner, family members, or friends, let them lend a hand so you can take a break and recharge.
  3. Take care of your physical health: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and staying active. Taking care of your physical health will not only benefit you but also set a positive example for your child.

Additionally, nurturing your relationships is essential for your overall happiness and well-being. Here’s how you can maintain strong connections:

  • Make time for your partner: Set aside dedicated time to nurture your relationship with your partner. Plan date nights, express appreciation for each other, and prioritize open communication.
  • Connect with other parents: Seek out opportunities to connect with other parents who are going through similar experiences. Join parenting groups, attend playdates, or engage in online communities. Sharing your joys and challenges with others can provide support and understanding.
  • Cultivate friendships: Don’t forget to nurture your friendships outside of parenting. Schedule regular catch-ups with friends, whether it’s a coffee date or a virtual hangout. Having a strong support network will help you feel more connected and provide solace during challenging times.

Remember, prioritizing self-care and nurturing your relationships isn’t selfish—it’s essential for your well-being and your ability to enjoy the parenting journey. Take the time to care for yourself and cultivate meaningful connections, and you’ll find that you have more to give to your child and your family as a whole.


In conclusion, parenting is a beautiful and rewarding journey that can be enjoyed to its fullest. By implementing the strategies and tips mentioned throughout this article, you can unlock the joy of parenting and create a happier family life. Remember to model positive behavior, establish a daily rhythm, and redirect and guide your child’s actions using positive instructions.

Appreciate your child’s efforts without excessive praise, give advance notice for transitions, and prioritize quality time, self-care, and nurturing relationships. Embrace the precious moments with your child and cherish the memories you create together. Parenting may have its ups and downs, but with the right mindset and approach, you can truly enjoy the parenting journey.

In conclusion, mastering “How to Enjoy Parenting” is a transformative journey that goes beyond conventional wisdom. As we’ve explored various strategies and insights, it’s evident that joy in parenting arises from embracing both the highs and lows. For additional resources on fostering a harmonious family life, consider exploring educational content from reputable sources like the U.S. Department of Education. Their guidance can complement the strategies discussed here, providing a well-rounded approach to nurturing happy, resilient families.

For ongoing support and a wealth of practical tips, visit Simply Working Mama, where you’ll find a community dedicated to simplifying the complexities of parenthood. With a commitment to sharing personal experiences and valuable insights, this platform serves as a valuable companion on your parenting journey. Remember, enjoying parenting is not about perfection but about relishing the unique moments that shape a family’s narrative. By integrating these insights and resources, you can cultivate a positive and fulfilling parenting experience, creating lasting memories for both you and your children.

Final thoughts, always remember that each child is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Be patient, adaptable, and open to trying new approaches. The most important thing is to love and support your child unconditionally.


How can I enjoy parenting more?

By modeling positive behavior, establishing a daily routine, redirecting your child’s actions, focusing on positive instructions, and providing choices and information, you can enhance your parenting experience and find joy in the journey.

Why is modeling behavior important in parenting?

Children learn by watching and imitating their parents. By modeling the behavior and actions you want to see in your child, you can teach them important values and habits.

How can I establish a daily rhythm for my child?

Having a consistent daily routine can provide a sense of predictability and stability. Divide the day into blocks with specific activities or tasks, such as mealtimes, playtime, and naptime. Regularly update the routine to adapt to your child’s changing needs and developmental stages.

How do I redirect my child’s behavior positively?

Instead of simply telling your child what not to do, focus on redirecting their actions and showing them the desired behavior. For example, if your child hits their sibling, calmly rephrase their action and demonstrate a gentle way to interact, such as hugging instead.

Why is focusing on positive instructions important?

Instead of constantly telling your child what not to do, provide positive instructions on what they should do instead. This approach avoids resistance and helps them understand acceptable alternatives.

How much praise should I give my child?

Excessive and unnecessary praise can undermine intrinsic motivation and create dependence on external validation. Instead, acknowledge their efforts and express gratitude when they do something helpful or kind. Encourage a growth mindset by highlighting their perseverance and problem-solving skills.

How can I promote decision-making skills in my child?

Instead of giving strict commands, provide your child with information and let them make decisions within appropriate boundaries. This approach promotes problem-solving skills and autonomy, helping them develop decision-making abilities from an early age.

Why is offering choices within limits important?

Giving your child choices within reasonable limits empowers them and encourages decision-making skills. Consistency and explanation of the choices will help your child understand boundaries while feeling empowered to make decisions.

How can I prepare my child for transitions?

Transitions can be challenging for children, so giving them advance notice and preparing them for upcoming changes can help ease resistance and meltdowns. Let your child know in advance about the transition so they can mentally prepare.

What is a time-in and how can it benefit my child?

Instead of resorting to time-outs or punishments, consider implementing time-ins as a way to connect and understand your child’s emotions. Create a calm and loving space where you can engage with your child one-on-one. This can be effective for building trust, empathy, and emotional connection.

How can I choose my battles wisely as a parent?

Assess the importance of each issue and consider whether it aligns with your child’s well-being and core values. Letting go of minor issues allows for a more harmonious environment and reduces power struggles between you and your child.

How can I plan enjoyable activities and outings with my child?

Incorporate enjoyable activities and outings into your routine to break the monotony and create lasting memories with your child. Plan simple activities like going for a walk, visiting friends or family, or exploring new places. Consider your child’s interests and preferences to make it enjoyable for both of you.

Why is self-care and nurturing relationships important for enjoying parenting?

Taking care of yourself and nurturing your relationships is crucial for enjoying parenting. Find moments for self-care, connect with other parents and friends, and make time for your partner. Prioritizing self-care and relationships helps maintain a sense of balance and fulfillment.