Raising Happy Kids

I wrote a post a long time ago on the role of parenthood, and I’ve probably changed my mind on some details (and might change my mind some more before I’m ever a parent lol), but I still like the parenting objective I stated: “Put your child on the path to become their best self and become an independent responsible adult.” Of course you can’t control your child’s life choices or behavior in the long term, but I think the ideal outcome would be for your child to become a good person and happy adult.

I read an article called “7 Strategies to Help Raise Happy Kids” today and thought it had some really good ideas (plus you know I like the number 7… ;). Really you should just read the article, but the main points are below. And even if you aren’t a parent they are some good tips for just being a happy person :-).

Seven Strategies to Help Raise Happy Kids

1) Get Happy Yourself
I guess actions speak louder than words!

2) Encourage Play
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” (why couldn’t they make that proverb rhyme?!?).  Playtime, espectially “open-ended play,” helps them “develop their physical skills, learn to cooperate, and exercise their imagination”…and helps “prepare them for situations beyond what they are currently in.”

3) Teach them to Build Relationships
For most of us, positive relationships are necessary for happiness whether they be friends or family.

4) Teach Optimism

5) Teach Emotional Intelligence and Self-Discipline
“Kendra Cherry, author of Everything Psychology Book (2nd Edition), defines emotional intelligence as “… the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions.” It’s being aware of your emotions and managing them to fit the needs of every situation. This is an important skill that our children need to learn; it’s not something that they’re just born with.”

6) Encourage Effort for Mastery
“Expecting perfection is nonsensical, and if we place that expectation on our kids, then they’re being set up for failure. According to Carter, ‘Parents who overemphasize achievement are more likely to have kids with high level of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse compared to other kids.’ ”  However, “encouraging effort teaches kids that they can always do something to improve their lives, which is something to be happy about.” …”With mastery comes confidence, leadership skills, initiative, and an enduring desire for hard work.”

7) Form Happiness Habits
“Some happiness habits (and are not limited to) practicing gratitude, celebrating every achievement (both big and small), acknowledging effort, exemplifying a healthy sense of humor, and allowing them to learn from their own mistakes.”


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