A happy childhood for your kids could set them up for success later in life. Many parents, however, wonder exactly how to raise happy kids in today’s world. Raising your little ones isn’t about giving them immediate gratification or monetary pleasure. As a matter of fact, it’s the opposite.
Happy children have a set of skills that enables them to enjoy long-term happiness in life. They can pass up or postpone instant gratification to help them achieve their life goals. As a parent, you can play a part in helping your kids develop these skills by adopting lifelong and healthy habits.
Here are eight suggestions to help you raise happy children:
Look After Your Happiness as a Parent
If you disregard your happiness, you could be imparting a lesson that personal happiness doesn’t matter. Your children won’t be able to value their happiness if you can’t do this on your own. If you want a household with a playful, encouraging and affectionate atmosphere, that’s the spirit you must bring with you.
Feel Your Feelings
Having a joyful life doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to show that you’re happy a hundred percent of the time. Both parents and kids should learn how to properly lean into their feelings – even if they’re negative.
As a parent, make an effort to feel your feelings. Then, move on if those feelings are negative. If you feel burned out because of your work, acknowledge this feeling. Then, take steps to address it, so you could move forward.
As for kids, they should learn to acknowledge negative feelings, and then move on quickly to learn resilience.
Like Your Children
This advice is not the same as giving your kids everything they want or doting on them. You like your children by cultivating a relationship with them. You could accomplish this by smiling at them, hugging them and eating around the table together. Kids have a higher chance of being happy when their parents like them.
Encourage Outdoor Play
Never take the power of outdoor play for granted. Digging in the dirt, sitting on a swing, climbing trees and running on the grass are good for kids. If you live in a city, particularly in a high-rise condo, take your children to a nearby public park and have them frolic around the area. Allowing them to have fun outside is better than letting them stay inside the room playing video games all the time.
Incorporating gratitude into the everyday lives of your family could help children become healthier and happier individuals. Keep in mind, though, there’s a huge difference between saying a genuine “thank you” and forcing it.
Express sincere thanks when you’re grateful for the thoughts and actions of someone else. Expressing your thanks for the things your kids do will teach them to do the same.
Start by developing a family habit of talking about the things you feel thankful for. During dinner, discuss three things that you’re grateful for, and then ask everybody else to enumerate their three things. This will help your kids learn to find things that they can be thankful for in their everyday lives.
Make sending thank you notes a habit, as well. Rather than write the words “thank you” followed by the name, encourage everyone in the household to identify specific things they’re grateful for. An example is encouraging your kid to make a thank-you note to the teacher for helping them during the school year.
Be kind to yourself, so your children can learn self-compassion. When you’re always self-critical or beating yourself up for your mistakes, you’re inadvertently teaching your children to control things and situations that they cannot, such as losing a team sport or the reactions of other kids. Show your little ones how to treat themselves kindly and keep perspective.
Work Out as a Family
Whether you choose to do workout videos in your living room or go for a morning weekend walk together, exercise can make the household happier. When you work out as a family, you foster connections and make positive memories together.
Limit Screen Time
Don’t allow your kids to play endless hours of video games in front of the computer screen or the gaming console. As a parent, you should establish clear limits on your kid’s screen time.
If your child has a smartphone, install apps that limit their access when they’re playing outside, riding in the car or doing family activities. Also, set clear guidelines on how many hours your kid can play video games or watch TV.
Raise happy kids by following these eight suggestions. Children who know that their parents love and care for them are more likely to be happy and succeed, even when they face difficult adversities in life.