Parents want their children to be successful human beings when they grow up, and most of them raise their kids in service of that goal. However, many parents tend to overdo it and sacrifice their children’s happiness in the process. Considering that experts have been saying time and again that happier children make for more successful grownups, it’s important for parents to put a lot more effort into raising a happy child. To help you out, here are 7 essential tips on how to raise a happy child.
1. Be happy and satisfied yourself
This one’s a no-brainer. It’s not very likely for an unhappy and unsatisfied parent to be able to raise a happy child. Be happy and satisfied yourself, and you can be sure that all of it will rub off on your child.
2. Help them learn to build relationships
There is no better time to teach your kids how to relate to and forge relationships with other people than during their childhood. Relationships are an indispensable part of human life, and it’s important that your child learns how to form them. Teaching them how to deal with people of varying personalities can help them build healthy and stable friendships, which are key to happiness. Teaching them this early will also help them develop empathy for others.
3. Praise their effort, not their intelligence
No matter the level of achievement of our children in school, it is always so much better to praise their effort, not their intelligence or the results that they’ve gotten. Praising intelligence puts a lot of pressure on a child to do well on a consistent basis for fear of falling out of favour. That, obviously, does not make a happy child. Admire their effort instead, and your kid will be the happier for it.
4. Help them form happiness habits
Good parents will always encourage their children to form happiness habits. They will show their kids how exercise releases endorphins and makes people happy; their kids also experience the pleasure of helping other people; appreciating the simpler things in life is also a good happiness habit that kids would do well to form.
5. Teach them self-discipline
Kids will always be kids, but a kid who has been taught self-discipline by his/her parents will always be much preferable than a kid who cannot control his/her impulses, even in front of other people. So teach your child the art of self-discipline, and be a role model while you’re at it. Always make a habit of asking yourself “what would I want my child do this in this situation?”, and then do that!
6. Let kids play
As that cliché goes, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy—and a physically unfit one too. Playtime is just as important in a child’s life as schoolwork. Studies sharpen a child’s mind, while playtime gives his or her body the physical exercise that he/she needs.
7. Have dinner as a family regularly
Dinnertime is probably the only time of the day when every single member of the household is at home. Considering how starved many families are for time to spend together, make it a point to inculcate in your children the importance of always having dinner as a family. Dinner, after all, is a great time for everyone to catch up with each other, tell stories, laugh and relax, so turn that TV off and face everyone else at the dinner table. Most importantly of all, dinnertime helps everyone develop a sense of who they are as a family.