Healthy Unhappiness

When I was pregnant, I enhaled every parenting book possible. Jeff got me one that summed up all the current philosphies and strategies and it definitely had some interesting stuff in it. But one little diagram stood out for me as a major “a-ha!” moment, and as we have been having power struggles and tantrums from Declan quite a bit lately – I pulled the book out to refresh my memory.

So, what do these boxes mean? Obviously each section shows a place in your relationship with your child. However, the book describes how so many of us try to make the “You Are Both Happy” section larger and larger. Thinking if we are all happy, that’s the best way to be, right?

Apparently not. The book says that an equal distribution of time between all four of these sectors is the most healthy way to be. That conflict is healthy. That learning from the yucky sectors makes us better people.

This has really helped me with my mindset regarding Declan. He doesn’t need to be supremely happy all the time. That’s not the goal. But an emotionally mature little guy who can deal with his problems? That *is* the goal.

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