Raising happy children
We’ve all heard a lot about “quality time”, and most parents think that by spending time with their children, they are spending quality time with them. But quality time is more than that! It’s about focussing on truly being present in the moment.
For at least 20-30 minutes each day, you should cut out every distraction like your phone, or the television, to truly be there with your children. This is a moment to give them 100% of your attention, following their lead on what and how to play, being on the floor with them, leaving your busy thoughts behind and not multitasking.
By spending true quality time with your children, you will help them build a positive sense of self-worth, develop their self-esteem, and strong bonds, improve their mental health and well being, and much more.
5 tips to raise happy children:
- Value/praise their effort – If you notice your child trying very hard to do something, let him/her know, even if he/she is not there yet and there is still progress to make. They will be proud about the fact that you are valuing their hard work, it will encourage them to practice, develop their patience, confidence and self esteem.
- Teaching children about emotion and giving tools to manage them – It is normal for all of us to feel angry, frustrated, or grumpy sometimes. But staying in these moods for too long will not help our mental state. By giving your children tools to manage their feelings and emotions, you will help them develop resilience and coping skills, display less behavioral problems, develop their well being and mental health, be more emphatic and supportive of others and develop more positive and stable relationships.
- Developing empathy and encouraging children to perform small act of kindness – Talking about a concept is good but demonstrating it is better. Children learn more efficiently when being shown, so they can properly associate words and actions together. So be a role model, encourage them to help hold the door for someone, feed pets, pick up litter, invite someone to play with them in the playground, share a toy, say hello, …
- Teach them optimism – Children who practise optimistic thinking will be more resilient, less likely to give up when facing a challenge and they will interpret experiences in a way that gives them a sense of control and confidence. To teach your children about optimism, here are a few ideas: focus on the positive, engage in problem solving, use positive reframing, eliminate your own negative self-talk.
- Focus on one goal at a time – Patience is key with children. If you try to implement too many new things in their routine, they will quickly feel overwhelmed. A child’s routine is very important, it’s their little cocoon, a place where they feel safe and confident to face the world. Expecting too much from your child straight away will just bring frustration and can also impact your relationship. So, with lots of patience, take it slow and take the time to enjoy each small improvement.
When we get tired, we don’t always have the energy to argue with our children about rules or tasks that need to be accomplished. Especially during moments where we feel guilty, we think that changing the rules will make our children happier.
But guess what, boundaries make children feel safe and secure in their environment. Boundaries and limits teach children about consequences, they learn to understand and respect social rules, and it will also reinforce your bond.