The pursuit of happiness is a lifelong journey. It begins when we are just stumbling toddlers. As parents we can provide our children with the tools and the attitude required to be happy.
1) Are you kidding me?
Yes, crack a joke, laugh at your own mistakes and cause a laughing riot at home. Sometimes that’s all it takes to be happy. Joking gives children a platform to think creatively, achieve social success and manage stress.
2) Don’t overcoddle
Children are tougher and more adaptive that we give them credit for. As a parent you may be tempted to protect your child from every failure and disappointment. This may disable your child from handling disappointment and failure in the future. It also deprives them from learning from their mistakes and the consequence of certain actions. Let them develop the coping skills, moral toughness and resilience to handle the vicissitudes of life. That’s the best protection you can provide.
3) Happy parents makes happy children
Studies say that children of depressed parents are twice as likely to suffer from depression compared to children of happy parents. Also, parents with anger issues have angry kids, which is linked to aggressive behaviour in adulthood. So, nurture yourself: your health, your passions and your relationships. Give time, especially, to strengthening your relationship with your spouse. Your child’s happiness will automatically follow. In the long run, observing a happy relationship from such close angles will prove to be a great boon for your child.
4) Share responsibility
Humans have an innate need to be needed. Delegate small yet meaningful responsibilities to your child. Make your child feel important and needed in your daily family chores. It will nurture a sense of self-worth and eventually lead to his/her long-term happiness.
5) Be grateful
All the ancient books claim it. Be grateful for what you have and you will have more. Practise gratitude for small and big things, and ensure your child does the same. Ask them to express gratitude for one thing daily: a meal, a book or even a bright sunny day. It helps fosters optimism about life in general and accelerates goal achievement.
6) Praise the effort, not the result
Self-esteem is obviously a requisite for happiness. Praising your child is important but what exactly are your praising? The effort or the result? Children who are only praised for the results they achieved will always feel the pressure for your approval. However, children who are praised for the efforts they made, irrespective of the result, enjoy their activities as they do not fret over whatpeople will think of them if they failed. So just redirect your praise and you will find a child filled with positive self-esteem and happiness.
7) Social bonds
A child who feels connected to his/her family members, friends, neighbours and even pets find themselves insulated from misery. Growing up with a feeling of being loved, understood and wanted can protect a child from depression and risky behaviours such as drug abuse, smoking and drinking. You can help your child create a strong, social support system for themselves.
Being happy is a life skill. If we can impart this skill to our kids when they are young, more than half our job is done.
Have a happy day, and if you recall things that made you happy, as a child, do mention them in the comments below 🙂