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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.”



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