Good-intentioned parents usually create happiness for their children by making pleasurable experiences. Jowever, what children really need is to learn how to create and sustain happiness on their own. Harvard Medical School in Boston has outlined 5 things kids need most to build life long happiness and elf esteem:
1. Connections– Feeling ground gives children a sense of security. Kids need unconditional love from their parents and will benefit from having close ties to extended family members, being apart of school activities, and helping with household tasks. Let them help take care of pets!
2. Play– Make sure your kid’s free time isn’t all programmed and regimented. Open ended play, where kids create scenerios (play pretend) and solve problems by themselves help them discover talents and skills as well as use their own resources.
3. Practice– When children find out what they are good at, the want to do it again and again. Sometimes though you might have to do some gentle nudging in the right direction to ensure sticks to an activity and finishes to feel a sense of accomplishment.
4. Mastery– With practice comes mastery. When kids learn a skill whtether it’s learning to tie shoes, dress themselves or play the piano, they are even more motivated to take on new challenges. That will lead to a can-do attitude.
5. Recognition– Support and approval from parents, teachers, and peers from a job well done will reconnect kids to a wider world. When childen think what they do affects their family, classmates, or team, they are more likely to exhibit moral behavior and ultamately feel good about themselves.
Luckily one step leads to the next and the cycle is self perpetuated. As a parent, you can lay the ground work at an early age. Give your kids these 5 qualities and it will increase their chances of leading a happier, more satisfying life.