When you become a parent, I don’t think that there is anything that you wouldn’t do for your children. From bringing them back to somewhere safe to live, to providing them will all of the love, attention, and products that they need to help them grow and thrive. Many parents will say when you ask them what they want for their children, that they want their children to be happy. But what we do as we raise them can and does have an impact. So how can we ensure that we are raising happy and well-adjusted children, that can go on to thrive later in life? Here are some steps you can take, that are backed by science, that will help your children learn to be happy as they learn and grow.
Be Happy Yourself
Like a lot of things when raising children, you have to practice what you preach. If you want your children to be happy, positive, and confident individuals, then you need to look at yourself and see if there is anything that you can improve with that in mind. Studies have shown that if parents are depressed, then their children are more likely to act out. This isn’t to say that you should just put on a brave face; you need to take care of your behavioral health as well. What it means is that you need to seek help if you are suffering from depression or other mental health problems. When we are depressed, we’re not being our rational selves, which can lead to our parenting not being effective. So seek help if this is something that you suffer from, and it will have a positive impact on your children.
Teach Them About Relationships
There is no denying that one thing we need to do as a parent is to teach our children how to have good relationships with people. From friends to people that they meet in the street, there are certain things that they need to know about. But how long do we spend teaching our children about how to relate to other people? We might teach them etiquette of being in public and making friend. But emphasizing empathy is something that is important for all. When they understand why other people might do things, it will lead to happiness in their life. It will improve their relationships too.
Don’t Expect Perfection
If you tend to be a bit of a perfectionist or ‘helicopter’ parent in your life, then you need to cool it a little, especially when in front of your children. Growing up knowing that they have to compete with perfection isn’t going to be the best environment for most children. Some will be fine with that pressure, but a lot won’t be. Research has shown that instead, we should be praising effort, rather than ability. So even if they didn’t do something perfect, but they tried so very hard, then you need to praise how hard they tried at it. This will teach them about working hard which will help them to have a happy life as they grow.
Look on the Bright Side
If you haven’t taught your younger children to look on the bright or positive side of things, then you’ll be in trouble when it comes to teenagers, that's for sure! But teaching our children to be positive and optimistic about life, can stand them in good stead. Studies have even found that more optimistic people live longer and are happier in their marriages. Of course, some things will upset them from time to time. But learning to not dwell on the negative, but rather, the positives will help them a lot.
Teach Children Self-Discipline
There is that age-old experiment of putting a treat in front of a child, then telling them that can have one now, or two treats if they wait for a little longer. But you might be surprised to hear that the children that wait, have some patience and self-discipline, are the ones that are happier and more successful in their later life. How else can you teach children to have self-discipline, though? Having hobbies is a good way for them to practice skills and improve patience. But overall, having the skills to distract themselves from things is going to be a great way to improve their self-discipline and control.
Being a parent is pretty overwhelming, and we are all trying our best. But hopefully, there is something here that you could improve on to help your children live the best lives that they can.
How do you live a balanced life that promotes healthy and happiness for the whole family?