How to Be Happier by Barking Less and Wagging More

Do you ever give your kids time outs? Time outs to refresh and regroup can be so, so valuable both for kids and for us. Read the full post at

Have you seen the bumper sticker that says, “Bark less; wag more”? Following that simple advice can make your life so much more happy!

Sometimes it seems like we live in a harsh world. Bark! Bark! People are stressed and regularly (figuratively) bump into each other and step on each other’s toes, and sometimes are downright mean. Both kids and grown ups.

It’s a fact of life that stressed or hurt people say and do hurtful things. I’ve got a vlog in the works about one time when another mother unfairly and kind of harshly disciplined my child in front of me. Another child I know mentioned last week that the bigger kids in school were picking on him. And we’ve all driven down the street in front of the person in a hurry who made it known to us in very impolite terms! Bark! Bark!

So what can we do? And what can we teach our kids?

How to Be Happier by Barking Less and Wagging More

Cultivate an Open Relationship With Your Kids

First of all, we need to cultivate a relationship with our kids so they’re open to coming to us anytime someone barks at them or treats them unfairly. They need to know that we are there for them unconditionally. And that we will believe them when they come to us.

Intervene in Serious Situations

Next, when it comes to our kids, if the situation merits and is serious or threatening, we need to intervene. You’ll generally know when something reaches that level.

Set a Good Example

We can set a good example by wagging more often than we bark. Little eyes are watching us all the time and our kids regularly mimic our behaviors. Our default behavior becomes their default behavior.

We can demonstrate for them compassion and empathy by not barking at them. Peaceful parenting leads to peaceful kids, for the most part, who treat others the same way.

We can teach them that hurt people hurt people. Most people naturally expect us to bark right back. We catch them off guard when we wag instead.

We can show them how wagging makes us happier people overall.

Related: 5 Simple Ways to Become a Happy Mom 

Holding grudges and holding on to wrongs leads to an unforgiving spirit and bitterness. And once the root of these two emotions take hold, they can drag us and our kids down the path of unhappiness, until we or they become the ones who bark, bark, bark because we are miserable inside.

Wagging, on the other hand, attracts more happy and positive thoughts! It’s not always easy to wag when we’re faced with growling or barking, and there will be times when we bark back. It just happens. But overall, one key to being a happy mom and having a happy family is to always make sure you wag more than you bark!

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Hi, I'm Beth. I help busy moms ditch the overwhelm and gain confidence, so they can enjoy parenting more, yell less, and have peaceful kids and a happy family.

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