A lot of parents focus on their child’s potential, success level and future, but the most important factor in childhood is happiness. Here’s how to ensure that your kids are at their most carefree and enjoying the most important moments.
1. Surround yourself with family members and friends that have a happy, healthy and positive energy. If they’re around mature adults in a laughing and joyous household, it makes a big difference.
2. Don’t overemphasize achievement. Doing so increases chances of anxiety and depression in kids. Support their passion and creativity!
3. On a similar note, make sure they know that failure and mistakes aren’t just ok – they’re a necessary part of learning along the way and gaining wisdom in life.
4. Teach them with a “glass half full” mentality. Optimism goes a long way, and being the Grinch as a parent is a surefire way to shut your kids out and ignore their needs.
5. Teach them empathy and the skills to be emotionally intelligent so they don’t become bullies or victims. Instead, they stand up for those who need it in a peaceful way and can process anger healthily.
6. Try to have a tradition of family dinner – this is actually proven to mold kids better and increase their happiness, increasing chances of emotional stability.
7. Nourish your own soul and prioritize your own happiness, whether with just yourself, or with your spouse as well. Happier parents are more likely to have happier kids – it makes sense!
8. Teach them not to be impulsive, and to master self-discipline. Take the marshmallow test for example – kids get a marshmallow and are told if they wait 15 minutes, they’ll get two, then leaving the child alone. Delayed gratification enhances happiness and success in growing minds.
9. Make sure kids play outdoors instead of hovering over an iPad during the entirety of their playtime. This is the key to kids developing mindfulness and being in the present, which helps them grow and learn.
10. When you engage with your children, give them your undivided attention. Put down the newspaper or phone and really listen to what they’re saying. This added thoughtfulness on your part will help your kids be more communicative.
11. Encourage that your kids practice acts of kindness and generosity – those who do are scientifically proven to be happier. You gain real happiness from being selfless – its ironic, but totally makes sense.