Saturday, August 2, 2014

Happy

If you took an informal poll and asked parents what they wanted most for their kids, I'm willing to guess that more often than not, the answer would be something like, "I want them to be happy."  It's a natural thing to want for our kids, and by wishing them happiness, in a sense we are also wishing them well-being, the ability to rebound after setbacks, and an inner sense of confidence and worth.

If you asked that same group of parents what it would take for their kids to be happy it's likely that the answers would be varied.  But it turns out that there are some common denominators when it comes to what accounts for happiness, and how to help to instill it in our kids. 

In fact, yesterday on the radio I heard an interesting snippet about how key meaningful connections with others are when it comes to lasting happiness.  The guy speaking was comparing how fleeting the happiness things bring. 

After all, eventually, no matter what new toy or gadget or pair of shoes we get, their appeal will wear off.  In contrast, sharing time with people who help us feel good about ourselves and whom we enjoy is something that never really gets old.

With this in mind, I was reminded of another article I recently read online related to this topic put out by Parents magazine in their May 2008 issue.  The article was titled 7 Secrets to Raising a Happy Child and the first thing on their list is Foster Connections.  The other things they list are:
  • Don't Try to Make Your Child Happy
  • Nurture Your Happiness
  • Praise the Right Stuff
  • Allow for Success and Failure
  • Give Real Responsibilities
  • Practice Habitual Gratitude
I'd recommend reading the whole article, which I've linked here.  In it, there are lots of helpful suggestions, interesting insights, and things for all of us parents to think about when it comes to raising happy kids.

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