Optimism & Altruism

Two essential qualities in parenting.

We come into marriage with an average dose of altruism. Whatever we’ve witnessed growing up, and how we’ve been challenged to get involved in the family life or in our community. Self-sacrifice gives forth its fruit over time, so it has nothing to do with instant gratification. Unless we got a taste for a different kind of gratification.

Two adults who have learned to communicate, to express their needs as well as gratitude and appreciation, to make compromises and use a healthy dose of patience or perseverance, they have a relatively good chance of marriage survival and of life satisfaction. But when kids come around… we must up our game.

It is said that one learns to practice the ultimate altruism as they become parents, putting their own needs second, and not blinking twice about it. While it seems it will last a lifetime. Parenting can be discouraging. Exhausting and a pain.

So, on top of altruism, we need a healthy dose of optimism, against all odds.

It doesn’t seem that our kid will sleep through the night, or will learn to feed themselves politely, or will learn to make and keep friends. And yet, if we approach every teaching moment with optimism, for things that haven’t been proven already, we infuse a healthy dose of faith. And of positivity. Optimism is positivity applied. No matter how you correct or guide your child, if you keep in mind that “of course eventually” they won’t interrupt the conversation with your spouse, or they won’t cry about going to bed. You yourself will be encouraged to remind them how to act, with patience and in faith. And when you believe, and you ask with gratitude as if you had already received, miracles take place.