There's that old phrase: "We're only as happy as our unhappiest child." And it's true. We often feel down when there is a bump of trouble in one of our children's lives. We also feel less than upbeat when things are going not quite well in our lives--from job-related woes to health stress.
What am I getting at? We want to be honest with our kids about the big issues in life--not everything is a joy and a smiley face--but we don't want to visit on them our everyday anxieties or woes--or the over-reaction to theirs. The telephone can be a dead give-away. My kids have me at 'hello' when they are feeling troubled. I assume they can read my voice as well. So, I was struck by a recent blog by happiness guru Gretchen Rubin that talked about comfort foods of the mind--little ways to turn our bleak thoughts around and keep us from being negative when we talk to our grown kids.On her list of "comfort food" for your mind--ways to pull your mind away from worries onto positive topics:
Watch a movie — and not an upsetting one — or a favorite TV show.
Read or re-read a favorite book (preferably an upbeat one). Rubin prefers children's literature. My pick: anything Jane Austen but especially Pride and Prejudice for its humor and the wonderful fairytale like ending.
Find an activity that gives you exercise, gets you outside, or brings you in contact with other people. Taking a walk alone is not necessarily a good idea. It can lead to brooding unless you've got something upbeat on your iPod.]
Got any other ideas?