Stoicism: Key to Happier Parenting [According to an Expert]

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An expert says stoicism is the key to happier parenting. Dr. Nancy Darling, a psychology professor from Oberlin College, shared in an article published by Psychology Today that parents may reduce parenting anxiety through the stoic philosophy.

Simply put, it is worrying only about things that are within your control. Even if, as parents, you would always want what is best for your children.

Dr. Darling said that she learned this philosophy from her mom who took care of her and her siblings during the '50s until the '90s.

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Stoicism: What is it?

Stoicism is a philosophy that dates back to the early Christian church and resonates powerfully with Buddhism.

The stoic philosophy or stoicism has the core element of focusing on things that are within your control.

Stoicism and parenting

Parenting can be full of anxiety. However, according to Dr. Darling, parents can find the key to happier parenting in stoicism.

According to the psychology professor, her mom's philosophy taught her about stoicism.

She said that since her mom worked hard on parenting, she also knew when things are already out of her control.

Dr. Darling said, "What she did have control over, she controlled. She gave support. She pushed and (definitely) nagged."

One of the examples she gave was when it comes to their careers. Her mom had thoughts, but she never told Dr. Darling and her siblings what to do. The decision was always up to the children.

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Happier parenting

Because parenting can be full of fears, parents tend to be anxious, making it challenging to experience happier parenting.

Dr. Darling insists that it is possible to let go and keep one's cool, especially on impossible-to-control things.

Although parents would surely want only to give what is best for their children, this does not mean that parents should worry about things that their children can decide and learn from, eventually.

What Dr. Darling realized, now that she is a parent to adult kids, herself, " I want joy and love and satisfaction for them. I really want them to be healthy. But all of those things are outside my control."

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The stoic philosophy during the pandemic

Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has taught many parents patience. However, this is also the time when things happen that are out of one's control.

Dr. Darling said, "Many things are beyond our control-if the pandemic has taught us nothing else, it should have taught us that. Bad things happen to good people."

The psychology professor also reiterated that since there are things out of our control, one should learn to focus on things like time, happiness, and attention. That is, instead of focusing on specific outcomes like having good health or wealth.

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