Secrets to raising happy children

Kate Halim

Mothers want their children to grow up to love and be loved, to follow their dreams, and to find success. Many mothers also want their children to be happy.

Research shows that happy, optimistic children are the product of happy, optimistic homes, regardless of genetic make-up. Mothers have to create the atmosphere where their children’s happiness will flourish.

Here are some strategies that will strengthen your child’s capacity to experience joy.

Foster loving connections

The surest way to promote your child’s lifelong emotional well-being is to help him feel connected to you, other family members, friends, neighbors, and other human beings.

Don’t try to make your child happy

It sounds counterintuitive, but the best thing you can do for your child’s long-term happiness may be to stop trying to keep her happy in the short-term. If you put your kids in a bubble and grant them their every wish and desire, that is what they grow to expect, but the real world doesn’t work that way.

It sounds counterintuitive, but the best thing you can do for your child’s long-term happiness may be to stop trying to keep her happy in the short-term. If you put your kids in a bubble and grant them their every wish and desire, that is what they grow to expect, but the real world doesn’t work that way.

Recognize that you are not responsible for your child’s happiness. Parents who feel responsible for their kids’ emotions have great difficulty allowing them to experience anger, sadness, or frustration.

Nurture your happiness

While you can’t control your children’s happiness, you are responsible for your own. And because children absorb everything from you, your moods matter. Happy parents are likely to have happy kids, while children of depressed parents suffer twice the average rate of depression.

One of the best things you can do for your child’s emotional well-being is to attend to yours: carve out time for rest, relaxation, and, perhaps most important, romance. Nurture your relationship with your spouse.

Praise the right stuff

Studies consistently link self-esteem and happiness. Your children can’t have one without the other. It’s something we know intuitively, and it turns many of us into overzealous cheerleaders.

The danger, if this is the only kind of praise a child hears, is that he will think he needs to achieve to win your approval. He will become afraid that if he doesn’t succeed, he will fall off the pedestal and his parents won’t love him anymore.

Praising specific traits—intelligence, prettiness, athleticism—can also undermine children’s confidence later, if they grow up believing they’re valued for something that’s out of their control and potentially fleeting.

Allow for success and failure

If you really want to bolster your children’s self-esteem, focus less on compliments and more on providing them with ample opportunities to learn new skills. Mastery, not praise, is the real self-esteem builder.

Your challenge is to stand back and let your children do for themselves what they are capable of. The great mistake good parents make is doing too much for their children.

While it can be difficult to watch your kids struggle, they will never know the thrill of mastery unless you allow them to risk failure. Few skills are perfected on a first try. It’s through practice that children achieve mastery. And through repeated experiences of mastery, they develop the can-do attitude that lets them approach future challenges with the zest and optimism that are central to a happy life.

The post Secrets to raising happy children appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news

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