Lorraine McDonald is a mom, spouse and family doctor living in Oregon. To offer your own advice, call Zak @ 844-935-BEST For a fun time, please record yourself, solo or with your pod, singing the chorus of Yellow Submarine and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it as a voicemail at 844-935-BEST.
LORRAINE: My advice is never try to achieve a greater level of happiness with children. When your child is happy don't get in the way of that. Don't try to make it better or improve what they're doing. Don't interrupt their flow. Just let them be.
ZAK: It's fantastic. Do you think it applies to adults too?
LORRAINE: Absolutely. I think it applies...we learned it with out first our child in that she was a kind of sensitive baby and if you would go up to the mobile and show her, look how this bell rings...she would just start crying when she was happily looking at the mobile. So, my husband and I would say, don't try to achieve a greater level of happiness. And it works all the way up to adulthood. Imagine, you're working on a puzzle and your partner comes along and says, hey, did you know this piece goes here?! I think that it wouldn't make you happier. It would maybe annoy you and interrupt your enjoyment of what you were doing.
ZAK: In a way, it sounds like you've kind of removed some of the ego from being the all-knowing mom and just to step back and watch them. How do you think that impacts their development?
LORRAINE: I think it actually improves your relationship with them and as far as their development, they're more independent and courageous and willing to try things and then come and talk to you about it and that solidifies your relationship more than if you're standing over their shoulder trying to help them get to the goal faster.
ZAK: Right. Yep. I find myself doing that a lot. Like, my 3 year-old is trying to do this puzzle but she's maybe not even doing the puzzle. She's just stacking the puzzle pieces. And my impulse is to get her on track. But, like, what am I doin!? She's having fun stacking the puzzle pieces.
LORRAINE: Right. And maybe you can just say to yourself internally, I'm really enjoying watching her have fun with those puzzle pieces.