My son, Carlos, turning 4, has always been a happy kid. He wakes up almost every day with a smile on his face. He’s jolly about anything, even the smallest bee that flies. Sometimes, he gets sad, too but it doesn’t take a lot of effort to see the twinkle in his eyes again.
Oh, the joy of being a kid. Innocence. Contentment. Happiness. From then on, I knew that I wanted nothing else but for him to be happy. While gene plays a super tiny role on it, research shows that merry, optimistic homes bring out a merry, optimistic child.
So, what do we need to do to create and maintain a happy abode that will help your little one turn into a happy adult? Below are the secrets to raising a joyful (and grateful) child.
Be Happy Yourself
While genetic makeup has a tiny role to play in your child’s happiness, how your child sees you affect their behavior, as well as their success.
I understand, as a parent, there are a lot of things to worry about, such as keeping the household together, stretching the budget, work-related issues, relationship with your family, and a lot more. So how do you end up and face your kids with a smile?
My personal tip: take a time out. Go out alone and have coffee or better yet, have a lunch date or a night out with your friends. Yes, you have responsibilities at home but you also have a responsibility for yourself, too.
Help Them Build Key People Skills
We all know that building a connection with other people is essential but on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) how active are we in terms of teaching our young ones how to bond with others?
If you’re as guilty as me, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start. You can always begin with the smallest acts, such as telling them to say hi to a new kid they met.
People skills are not only crucial when you want your child to grow into a better adult; it also encourages them to become happier in the long run. On top of this, it improves their self-confidence and self-esteem, which are both important to raising a successful, happy child.
Appreciate Every Effort
The first time I saw a star on my child’s hand, I was very proud. It’s like seeing a Summa Cum Laude Honor Medal on his neck. I wanted to see it every day but I know that it’s not always possible and overemphasizing achievements to my kid is never a good idea. In fact, research shows that parents who strive for perfection are more likely to have children with anxiety and depression.
As much as we wanted our child to become smarter, it’s better if we will appreciate every hard work and effort they make.
Teenage years is one of the least anticipated stages of most parents. Other than grumpy teens, many moms and dads are struggling with misbehaved minors. But don’t worry, you can avoid such things from happening now.
How? By simply teaching them to look on the bright side — and there are more ways than one to do that.
One way is by pointing out the “silver lining” in every situation. Mistakes and unfortunate events are bound to happen and rather than focusing on the negative, get your child into the habit of looking at the brighter side. After all, there’s a lesson in every single thing, whether it’s a good or bad situation.
Promote Emotional Intelligence
Having a high IQ is important but a stronger EQ makes a lot of difference in your child’s success and life in the long run. So, as early as now, help them understand their own emotions by following these simple steps: empathize, label, and validate.
Here’s a quick scenario:
Carlos: “I’m MAD!”
Me: “Why are you mad at me? Tell me about it. Are you feeling sad because I want you to sleep now and play later?”
Carlos: “Yes! I just want to play now.”
Me: “It’s okay, I understand. It’s okay to feel mad or sad but it’s never okay to throw your toys to anyone.”
A child will always be a child and they will never understand what they are going through unless we, as parents and adults, help them. Listen and empathize with them and help them recognize what they are feeling. Also, let them understand that whatever it is that they are feeling (sad, annoyed, mad, etc.) is fine but bad behavior is not.
Have you watched the marshmallow test on YouTube? It’s about kids who are asked to wait before they eat the huge white marshmallow so they can have another one. Apparently, children who are taught about resisting temptations have better, happier lives.
In addition, kids who are disciplined manage stress and disappointment better than those who are not. So how do we do this? You can start by being a role model for your child.
Learn more about self-discipline on kids by joining our forum.
More Playtime, More Fun!
We know how mindfulness benefits our overall well-being and as much as we wanted to teach these to our little ones, this can be quite a challenge. So what’s the best thing to do instead? Implement more playtime!
Did you know that most kids are very good at being aware of the present moment? When they play, your little one is practicing mindfulness already. That being said, playtime is very important to a child’s emotional and mental development.
Letting your kids play — freely — without any objective but just to have fun is important when you want them to resolve conflicts in a better way and improve their communication.
These are just some of the ways on how you can raise a happy child. If you want to learn or share more tips, you can head over to our forum section or simply drop your thoughts in the comment box below.