We all want to give our children the best: love, happiness, and success. However, according to child development experts, happiness isn’t something that you can “give” young children. In most cases, happy children have learned to be happy. Here are some great tips that you can use to teach your child to be happy:
Be Happy Yourself
Children are like sponges and they absorb everything from us; so naturally, our moods matter. Happy parents are likely to have happy children. To nurture your own happiness, make time for yourself. Since, your child’s emotional well-being is dependent on yours, it’s important to make sure that you are well-rested and relaxed.
Learn to Read Their Emotions
Identifying the signals that young children use to communicate their feelings can also be useful when trying to minimize unhappiness. For instance, negative signals such as distress, anger, and fear add up to an unhappy child. These feelings can result in children being more withdrawn, quiet, not playing, and not eating very much. Having insight into your child’s temperament can lead you to know when you should really start focusing on unlocking key aspects of their happiness.
Help Them Build Relationships
Forming relationships with others – family members, friends, caregivers, and even pets – is the surest way to promote a child’s emotional wellbeing. Deep-rooted connections, which produce feelings of being loved, understood, wanted, and acknowledged are the biggest protector against emotional distress. Encourage your children to perform small acts of kindness to strengthen empathy.
Praise the Right Things
Research consistently shows that parents should praise effort, not natural ability. Praising the effort rather than the result fosters a growth mindset, or the belief that they can accomplish something through persistence and practice, as opposed to something they are born with. This causes the child to worry less about failing and also raises their self-esteem when they achieve something through hard work and are praised for it.
Optimism is linked hand in hand with happiness, and children who are taught to be optimistic at an early age, are less likely to deal with depression and anxiety as they get older. To encourage optimism, tell your child to focus on the bright side and then point out all the good things in their life.
Form Habits of Gratitude
Research has shown that feelings of gratitude are linked to emotional well-being. To instill gratitude in your children, make it a point for each member of the family to name aloud something they are grateful for during dinner each day. This type of routine habit fosters all kinds of positive emotions and can create long-lasting happiness.
Playtime is necessary for a child’s growth and development and is especially effective if you’re having fun with them. If you enjoy yourself, your children will enjoy themselves. Additionally, allowing your children to have unstructured play is important so that they can discover what they love to do. Cultivating your child’s interests can lead to a lifetime of inner happiness.
At Prep Academy, we strive to create a culture of happiness for our students, parents, and faculty! We believe that happy children are more likely to reach their full potential, and work hard to create a nurturing, positive learning environment! Our fully certified and professional teachers and staff present a well-rounded program that brings out the happiness in each student. With positive role models at school and home, children have a head start to a happier future!