As parents, we all want the same thing for our children. We want them to grow up to love and to be loved, to follow their dreams, and find success within their life. Most of all, we want them to be happy!
But how much control, as parents, do we have to make our children happy? What things can we do to help their happiness flourish? It all starts within our homes. Learn how you can create a home that will strengthen your child and flourish their happiness.
1. Build a Relationship
One of the best ways to promote a life-long well-being of your child is to help them feel connected. To their family members, you, friends, neighbors, and everyone that comes into their lives. Even their pets!
Provides chances for your child to form loving relationships. Social connections are incredibly important, especially to their happiness.
2. Don’t Try to Make Your Kid Happy
We want all our children to be happy, but we want them to feel long-term happiness and not short-term happiness. If we grant our children their every wish and desire, what they grow up to expect is that, but the real world doesn’t work like that.
Parents, we need to recognize that we are not responsible entirely for our child’s happiness. We cannot fully control our children’s emotions. We need to let our children experience negative emotions and hold ourselves back to not give them whatever we think will bring them a smile or solve what is causing them stress.
If we allow our children to experience negative emotions, then we are helping our children experience the ability to develop coping skills. It will also make them resilient to help them come back from the setbacks in life.
3. Praise the Right Things
Praising specific traits, such as intelligence, prettiness, and athleticism can also undermine children’s confidence later in life. They can grow up believing their valued for something that’s out of their control. If you are praising your child for primarily being pretty, what happens when they grow old and lose that beauty? What about your child who is only praised for being bright? They might become timid fearing they might be seen less bright and less valuable if they fail or don’t have the right answer.
The antidote to this is to praise the right things. Praise your child’s effort rather than the result. Praise their creativity, hard work, persistence, and so on. Teaching them that people achieve through hard work and practice will go a long way instead of them having a mindset that they need to have this innate talent in order to have accomplishments.
4. Success and Failure
Provide your child with opportunities where they can learn new skills. Success, not praising (bolstering their self-esteem) is the real self-esteem builder for our children. As parents, we need to stand back and let them do things for themselves to see what they are capable of. One of our greatest mistakes as good parents is doing too much for our children.
It can be truly difficult to see our children struggle, but they will never know the thrill of learning something if we don’t allow them to risk failure. Through practice our children can achieve success. They can develop a can-do attitude that lets them face future challenges with enthusiasm and optimism that are central to living a happy life.
5. Practice Gratitude
Several studies have shown that feeling gratitude to emotional well-being. Read more how you can teach your child to be more grateful.
6. Give Responsibilities
We all have an innate need to be needed. It’s part of us as being humans. One way we can help our children to feel a sense of self-worth and happiness is help convey to our children they are making a unique contribution to the family. Starting to give our children responsibilities at a young age can help them begin feeling they are part of something great.
Children, even young as 3 years old, can play meaningful roles within the family. Young children can feed the pets or set out the napkins for dinner time. In addition, one of the best ways to help our children feel self-worth is giving them roles that plays into their strengths. If your child loves to organize things, give them the job of sorting the forks and spoons. If your child is nurturing, have them entertain their younger siblings while you do tasks around the house.
As long as you are acknowledging your child’s contribution to the family, it will heighten their connection and confidence, which are both connected to life-long happiness.
7. Don’t Forget About Your Happiness Too
While we cannot always control our children’s happiness, we are in control of our own. Since our children absorb everything from us, our attitudes matter. Studies show that happy parents are likely to have happy children. One of the best ways to ensure our child’s emotional well-being is to nurture our own happiness too.
Set out time for nurturing your own happiness. Rest and relax. Nurture your own relationships too, especially with your partner. If your connection with your partner is good, naturally your child’s happiness will be affected and follow.