Why Pursuing Your Dreams and Goals as a Parent Creates Happy Children

All too often parents view parenthood as a sacrifice, a period in life where you have to set aside what you really want to do in order to give your children what they need. And while parenting absolutely has an element of sacrifice to it, there’s a lot to be said for parents who choose to pursue their dreams and goals — even when their children are young.

Parenting is a balancing act. Just as you can invest too much time and energy into endeavors outside of your home and family, you can also invest too much time in your home and family. When this happens, parents often feel dissatisfied with their own lives and that discontent actually takes away from their children’s happiness rather than adding to it.

Another issue that arises when parents only focus solely on their children and their lives is that all of the things that they wish they would have achieved subconsciously get passed to their children. (And it’s not always even subconsciously — parents knowingly do this, too.) By suppressing your own wants and desires in order to give to your children, you create a belief that your children should complete those wants and desires so that they don’t miss out on what you feel like you’ve missed out on. It’s a vicious cycle that often leads everyone, both parents and children, feeling unhappy.

When you set aside your dreams in order to tend to your children, it can become unclear as to whether or not the dreams you have for your children are actually just the dreams you’ve never achieved.

If you’ve always wanted to be a strong athlete, but you don’t have time to pursue this interest because of your family, it’s very likely that you’ll push your children to be the star of their sports team — even if they genuinely don’t have interest in playing or performing.

Setting aside your dreams and desires in order to focus only on your children is a huge trap that all too many parents get caught in — and the result is unhappy children and unhappy parents.

One of the biggest benefits of pursuing your dreams and interests is that it proves to your children that learning is lifelong, and fun! The more you can “walk the walk” when it comes to education and success, the more your children will understand what it takes for them to be successful too. And when they see you pursuing your dreams as an adult, it actually takes some of the negative pressure off your children, too. They’ll no longer feel like they have to do and know everything by the time they’re finished with their “formal education”.

Pursuing your dreams and desires makes you a role model for your children. And, as an added bonus, it makes you happier, too. By filling your own cup, you’re actually more likely to be patient and kind with your children, making the time you spend together even more enjoyable for everyone.

While you never want to become so busy with your personal life that you no longer have time for your children, you absolutely do not want to put off your personal goals until they’re older. The more satisfied you are with your life, the more you create space for them to create their own lives — and that’s something they’ll always thank you for. Being a parent is difficult, but it should never feel like you’re unable to live your life. Show your children what it looks like to be energized by pursuing your dreams and you’ll forever be an inspiration, someone that they’ll come back to for advice again and again.

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