How To Raise Happy Kids

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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.

A Lesson of Life From A Child

Sometimes as moms, we are so busy with what’s going on, we hurry up our children. Hurrying to get them ready for school, ready to go to the store, ready for their doctors appointments. We are always hurrying. It is a difficult task to get a child ready on time along with yourself. We forget where the socks are, the little one is missing a left shoe and we are determined to find it before we are late to go anywhere. The kids continue to play as if they are unaware of the urgency. It can be frustrating.

The other day though, I was getting my little one ready (or at least trying too) without success. She had a round of shots to get that day. If we didn’t hurry up, we would be late and god knows if you’re late to an appointment, you’ll be there forever! I was frustrated. More than frustrated. Why couldn’t I do this seamlessly? I planned this out 2 hours before hand, getting everything ready so it would be an easy “get-up-and-go”. Well obviously it wasn’t. My little one wouldn’t cooperate. She just wanted to play with her toys and listen to her sing along disk. My temper was dwindling. I wanted to cry.

I sat in the floor, practically giving up. Then I started to watch my daughter play. She was laughing, smiling, playing with her teddy bear. She gave him kisses and carried him around. She danced with him. Suddenly I felt better. I smiled and was uplifted by her child-like innocence. She was enjoying life. She didn’t know the hassle of having to get somewhere in a hurry. All she knew was she woke up this morning, mommy fed her a yummy breakfast and she had her toys. Life was good. It made me realize as adults (and mommies) we get so tied up in life and hassles that sometimes we forget to step back and appreciate what we have and enjoy our lives. We have beautiful children. We have a roof over our heads. We have food. Some of us have partners that care about us.

I then stood up, hugged my little one and she giggled. I told her all we needed to do was find her shoe. I had calmed down and she knew it. She handed me her shoe and it was off to the doctor, with the company of Mr. Bear as a tag along. Although we were almost half an hour late, I didn’t fret. Yes, we had to be there longer than expected, but that was okay. I would still come home, make lunch, clean the house. I learned to relax and smile. Not worry. All thanks to my 1 year old daughter.