Have you ever seen grumpy kids? They are not anyone’s cup of tea. Truth is, we all desire the same things for our children. Each parent wishes their children to grow up to be successful and happy in their endeavours and also wants to create a happy environment to raise them to be happy and successful kids. My little one epitomizes sunlight. She’s always smiling and radiant. My mom, bless her heart, never ceases to remind me of how grumpy I was as a kid. “You used to scare off other kids,” she adds amidst laughter. For the umpteenth time; I deny these malicious allegations.
Do genes affect kids’ happiness?
In a research conducted by Bob Murray, author of the book ‘Raising an Optimistic Child: A Proven Plan for Depression-Proofing Young Children—for Life (McGraw-Hill), he states “…happy, optimistic children are the product of happy, optimistic homes, regardless of genetic makeup.” It all comes down to creating a happy home for children to thrive.
Creating a happy environment to raise happy Kids
It’s no secret that happy kids are loved by everyone. But what does it take to raise a happy kid? Here are some tips to raise happy kids:
1. Make sure that your own happiness comes first
If you’re not happy, your kids won’t be happy either. So take care of yourself and make sure you’re happy. You cannot offer what you don’t have. If your heart overflows with bitterness, self-hate, jealousy, low self-esteem, and other negative emotions, chances are your children will turn out the same way. Children absorb what their parents offer. If you’re depressed, the children will be double depressed. Carve out some time to relax, romance, and rest.
2. Create a happy home environment for your kids
This means having a clean and organized home, as well as being loving and supportive towards your kids. Make your home a place where children freely express their feelings without being judged. Affirm their abilities and guide them whenever they are stuck. Be a parent!
3. Make sure to spend quality time with your kids
This means playing with them, talking with them, and just spending time together. Quality time is the key to raise happy kids. Be there, physically and emotionally. No shortcuts!
4. Teach your kids to be grateful
Help them to understand that being happy comes from within and that they should be grateful for what they have. Here at the Joy Vibes, we’ve mentioned before how gratitude is associated with improved emotional wellness. Gratitude builds optimism, better planning, and progress. Cultivate a gratitude spirit in your kids, which leads to a happy and successful Kids.
5. Provide structure for your kids
This means having rules and limits in place so that your kids know what is expected of them. Having a routine and structure will help to keep your kids happy. Always know what to praise and what to rebuke. Be firm and consistent in enforcing any rules. Focus on the process, the hard work, creativity, and commitment rather than the achievement.
This sounds simple but it amplifies everything a parent should be. Researchers use the term ‘crazy love’ to define bonds shared between parent and child. It means offering a love that never quits. Ever.
Crazy love is not based on what the child does. It is not a bargaining chip. “If you be good today, I will buy you an ice cream.” No, crazy love says, “I will love you no matter what you do.”
Crazy love is displayed in several ways: listening, acceptance, forgiveness, and patience. These are the four parental hacks for raising happy children.
This requires more than just hearing words. It’s about giving kids your undivided attention. In other words, no phones while they’re talking! Give undivided attention to your kids. Make them feel loved and valued by words and deeds.
Unconditional love also means accepting a child’s imperfections. We all have them. Don’t become the first bully your child has to confront. That’s simply wrong. Awful.
Just like adults, kids make mistakes. As parents, we should forgive them and help them to learn from their mistakes. My mother still holds that I broke the family’s DVD player; a prized possession. Despite my incessant efforts to make amends, she remains unconvinced. Well, it’s just a memory that gives us all a good laugh. Children’s mistakes can be a source of family fun times.
Have you ever tried to hurry a child? It’s impossible! They move at their own pace. As parents, we need to be patient with them and understand that they’re still learning. Patience pays. Be their cheerleader whenever they attain even the slightest milestone.
Don’t try to make your child happy
Ever heard of the need to lose the battle in order to win the war? This sounds counterintuitive but it’s one of the best things a parent does. Keeping your children in a bubble of happiness does more harm than good. Granting all their wishes builds entitlement yet the world operates under very different circumstances. Allow them to vent, cry and be emotionally vulnerable. Put bluntly, a parent is not responsible for their child’s happiness. Research shows children who are unable to deal with negative emotions are crushed by adolescence and adulthood.
Accepting you’re not responsible for your child’s happiness requires walking away from the need to ‘fix’ things when trouble arises. Trust your parenting model and your child’s capacity to deal with and overcome any challenges.
Raising happy kids is not an easy task but it is definitely worth it. From the Joy Vibes, we certainly hope we get to see happy and successful kids in future!