Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Laughter to tear ratios

"Joy comes to us in momentsordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary." Brené Brown, Daring Greatly
"If your universe were amazing and terrifying and frustrating and unpredictable, and you didn't have good communication skills or a whole lot of experience or much of a frontal lobe, you’d freak out every once in a while, too." Melinda Moyer, Why does my kid freak out?

Sometimes, as parents, I think we tend to judge family experiences by asking if the balance tipped in the direction of laughter or tears. But there are a few problems with that. First, we aren't all that good at fairly tracking things like that (timing and affect can bias recall). Second, no matter how amazing anything is, there will be tears. It is just a law of parenting toddlers. Accepting that tears, tantrums, and disappointments are inevitable and healthy in childhood sort of takes the pressure off. (I mean, the alternative is you can beat the tantrums out of them, demand their constant "happiness," and kill their autonomy and curiosity. You know. If that is your thing. But it's definitely not my thing.) And that acceptance frees you up to just appreciate the squeals of joy, the giggles, the jumps, and the hugs. Which sounds a lot better to me.

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