Hot Topics     Home and Family     Family Fun    

Parenting “hack” that changes everything – for the better



It’s so simple it just might work

Parenting hack that changes everything – for the better


According to single dad, teacher, and writer Joseph Sarosy, parents should never “take one for the team.” Meaning: do not let your kids see you making yourself miserable for their or anyone else’s happiness, or they will grow up to act the same, and they’ll be miserable. The way he explains in in Fatherly, Sarosy, in a moment of parenting clarity, decided he would not play a game with his daughter and his daughter’s friends if he did not enjoy it.

“Only do things you want to do,” he writes. “Once I stumbled on this straightforward rule, my time with my daughter quickly became more engaging and fun. She now had a dad who was happy, not just one that was working to make her happy. See the difference?”

READ MORE: C’mon get happy

At first glance, this may read like an annoying oversimplification, but speaking from experience, he’s not wrong. When I began playing music for children at my job as a preschool teacher’s assistant, I had at my fingertips innumerable songs supposedly designed “for kids,” many of which I do not care for. I refused to play, say, “Wheels on the Bus,” “I Love You, You Love Me (theme from Barney),” or “The More We get Together.” Instead, I played songs I like, or songs I made up, or songs the children and I created, and the kids loved it.

Books, too. Luckily, one big plus of parenthood was finding so many great stories to read that I also enjoyed. My love of the material was contagious. I was not about to read something I thought was bad, or that didn’t give me enjoyment, too.

Conversely, when my son got into Pokemon, I could not follow. I did try for a little while, but I soon stepped back and watched as he and his friends threw themselves into the game, which still confounds me.

Sarosy says, “When you say no to an activity that you don’t enjoy, but yes to your time together, you will slowly discover ways to play with your child that light you both up. And you’ll know when you get there, because it will feel good. For everyone. You won’t just be playing to satisfy their whim. You’ll be engaged.”



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Guilt-free, superfruit snacking

    Sweet treats made to permissibly indulge

    For many, enjoying a small indulgence can serve as a reward for a job well done or a mood-boosting pick-me-up. In fact, mindful snacking is on-trend for a majority of consumers. read more »
  • Getting healthier starts wth your feet

    Start your wellness goals from the ground up

    Good foot and ankle health is critical for good overall health, so no matter what your wellness goals are, be sure to start from the ground up. read more »
  • Dangerous heart conditions often go undetected in pregnant and postpartum women

    A torn ACL revealed an undiagnosed heart defect

    National Jewish Health experts advocate for screenings to detect heart conditions that may develop in otherwise healthy women read more »
  • Bald Eagle viewing in winter

    Watching them can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience

    Winter is a great time to view bald eagles in New York State. Viewing from a safe distance and at established observation sites can offer an exhilarating and memorable experience. read more »
  • Yes, you can raise healthy, smart, kind kids in a screen-saturated world

    "The Mediatrician" helps guide parents on Safer Internet Day

    Raising children in a screen-saturated world elicits fear, hope, and questions from parents, educators, and healthcare providers. The best thing to happen this year on “Safer Internet Day,” is the launch of “The Mediatrician's Guide”, developed to deliver those critical answers. read more »
  • Looking for a new career?

    Become a financial planner

    Becoming a financial planner offers both financial rewards and the chance to help others. Whether you’re a recent graduate exploring your career path or a mid-career professional seeking change, this growing profession may be the right fit for you. read more »
  • How to prep the night before the SAT or ACT exam

    Calm your nerves and enter the testing site with confidence

    Taking the SAT or ACT exam is the culmination of months of test-specific preparation, and in truth, years of schooling. While knowing that can feel like a lot of pressure, there are steps you can take the night before the exam to calm your nerves and enter the testing site with confidence: read more »
  • 7 Valentine's Day date ideas to break from the norm

    Think outside the box this year

    If you’re feeling pressure to plan the perfect Valentine’s Day date, it may be time to veer away from tradition. While flowers, chocolates and dinner for two is a classic, thinking outside the box can make for just as romantic of an experience. read more »
  • Helping infants, toddlers and families thrive

    The child tax credit is a critical policy vehicle

    A bipartisan package that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, would expand the child tax credit (CTC). As the Senate decides whether to follow suit, advocates press that the CTC is a critical policy vehicle to help all infants, toddlers and their families thrive, and it should be implemented as soon as possible. read more »
  • What to look for when you need a law firm

    Savvy advice from Best Lawyers

    Let’s face it, no person or business gets a thrill out of hiring a law firm. Fortunately, peer-reviewed rankings have simplified the process. read more »