We all want our children to be happy. But how do we achieve that and still ensure that our children are disciplined?
For adults, happiness is attached to success. For children, happiness is attached to the smallest of details such as a new toy. What we are all sure of is that a happy childhood is likely to translate to a happy adulthood.
What makes a happy child?
Children have different personalities; what makes one child happy may irritate another. My daughter wakes up with a smile while my son wakes up grumpy every day. Even with different personalities, there are general ways to ensure you raise a happy child.
7 Powerful Ways To Raise A Happy Child
1. Create connections
Children need to feel connected to you and to other family members. A child should feel loved, wanted, understood, appreciated and acknowledged.
To cement the primary connection between you and your children, you need to love them unconditionally. Not only should you possess that deep love, but also show it to your children.
At the same time, provide a conducive environment for your children to form connections with other people. The more the connections your child makes, the happier he will be.
2. Do not concentrate on short-term happiness
This might sound counter-intuitive. Yes, you need your child to be happy but you should not try so hard to keep them happy. Some parents will give treats and money to children to keep them happy. While this may work for a few hours, it is not the secret to a happy child.
If you grant all your child’s desires, they grow up to expect just that. They may grow up to be frustrated with the world and people around them when their desires are not met.
For starters, you need to realize that you are not responsible for your children’s emotions; your responsibility is to create a happy environment.
3. Let them express themselves in art and craft
There are many activities you can engage your children in to keep them happy. Children love to learn new things and one way of doing this is through art and craft.
You can buy them paint, crayons, fabrics, art books and anything they might need to get started. Once they create art and craft projects, praise them, frame their pieces or stick them on the refrigerator.
Children will feel appreciated and will stay happy. Ensure the art pieces have tags with their names so they can proudly show them to their peers.
I’m a professional seamstress and my kids just enjoy helping me with simple tasks on my sewing machine. I am also encouraging them to come up with their own sewing projects. It doesn’t really matter what they sew as long as they seem happy doing these things. Not to mention that sewing activities promote fine motor skills.
4. Stay happy yourself
You cannot share what you do not have.
When I am stressed from work, I carry my stress home and it spreads to my children. When you are not happy, you will be irritated by small issues such as the noise of children playing, you may give angry outbursts and this will affect your children’s happiness.
You should also nurture your relationship with your spouse. If, as parents, you have a committed relationship, children will naturally be happy. If there are always fights at home, no matter how much you try, your children will always be sad.
5. Give praise where due
As parents, we are fond of praising our children for every little achievement they make. They draw a sketch of a person and we tell them they are the next Da Vinci. The problem with this kind of praise is that children will work to gain your approval.
If children grow up knowing they are the next Da Vinci, and then it turns out different, they may become very frustrated.
As such, you need to praise effort and not results. Children need to be taught to have a growth mindset. They should not strive to prove that they can do something but rather to grow themselves to better adults.
6. Give opportunities to learn new skills
Self-esteem and happiness are interconnected; you have one if you have the other.
Instead of always complimenting your child, give them ample opportunities to learn new skills. When they fail, guide them. Whenever children master a new skill, say riding a bike or playing the piano, their self-esteem is boosted.
If you do everything for them, and do not allow them to strive to master a skill, they will never appreciate the process. They will always feel you, and not them, did it.
7. Give responsibilities
If people appreciate you for what you do, you will feel that you matter.
This is the same case for children. To raise a happy child, you should give them real responsibilities. They can help you with house chores. When they do that, they feel they are part of the family and are not excluded.
In short, people just have an inborn need to feel needed. When you satiate this need for your children, their happiness flourishes.
Learn what your child enjoys doing and let them do that. If he/she enjoys entertaining, let them entertain the baby while you make supper. As long as you appreciate them for their effort, they will always take each responsibility with a kind heart.
What do you do to keep your children happy? What does a happy child look like your family? Share with us in the comments section below.