We all want our children to be happy, to love and be loved in life, and to follow their dreams to achieve their version of success. While there’s plenty of debate and research work being done to determine if genetics play a role in happiness, we believe parents still have a major role to play in raising a happy child. Below are a few tips you can use to foster a happy, positive environment for your child.
- Get & Stay Happy Yourself
Laughter is contagious, children find it easy to mimic adults, and being happier is healthier – these are just a few facts that highlight how raising happy kids start from happy parents. Focus on your own self and needs, and ensure you’re working towards the well-being of yourself along with your entire family.
- Guide Them to Build Relations
Jack Shonkoff and Deborah Phillips have discovered that having strong relationships is important for children’s growth as well as well-being. Parents can foster these relations by providing safe opportunities for children to explore and form friendships. Connected children are likely to be far happier in life than those with limited access to their parents, other family members, friends, teachers, neighbours, and even pets.
- Give Them Undivided Attention When They Speak to You
Ever heard of the quote “if you don’t listen to the little things when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big?” Because to them, all of it has always been big stuff’. Communicating clearly and thoughtfully with your child is key to them feeling happy, loved and listened to. Without the distractions of daily life, even a few minutes of them having your undivided attention builds a stronger bond between both of you.
- Let Them Play!
We mean this in its truest, unadulterated form – let your child engage in some unstructured play, or ‘free-flow’ as we call it in Hummingbird. Researchers believe unstructured play helps children learn how to work in groups, to share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, regulate their emotions and behaviour, and speak up for themselves.
- Enjoy a Meal Together
Dinners are sacred meal times for the entire family and as per Raising Children, studies prove that children who regularly have meals together with their families are emotionally more stable, get better grades and have fewer depressive symptoms.
- Celebrate as Often as You Can
Happy families also celebrate big and small things by creating rituals or family traditions – it can be the end of a week, someone’s first word or walk or the first day at nursery. You can mark the occasion by simply taking a walk outside, singing your child’s favourite songs or organising an outing. The ‘celebrations’ don’t need to be grand; their purpose is to share a moment of joy with your loved ones.
Family traditions can be Christmas Eve boxes, pancake tossing on Shrove Tuesday, cooking a big family meal on Eid or creating hand-made diyas and rangolis on Diwali – these memories are created and treasured forever!
Celebrate the International Day of Happiness on the 14thof March by wearing your best smile and making the world around you more positive 🙂