How To Raise Happy Children?

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Every parent wants to raise a happy kid. Happy children beam with positivity and are confident. For this reason, parents work hard and fulfill their childrens’ said and unsaid needs. But though parents are responsible for keeping their children happy, a child’s happiness should not depend solely on their parents or caregivers.

Instead, parents should put their efforts, time, and patience into teaching children ways to stay happy and cheerful in every situation. To do that, it is a must that parents build a healthy parent-child relationship and provide their child a positive, safe, and happy environment at home.

Read on to know some practical tips to help parents raise a happy and positive child.

17 Ways To Raise Happy Children

Here are some ways to ensure your children remain happy and grow up to be successful adults.

1. Practice and teach patience

As children are young and immature, they may do things that seem intolerable to you. Staying calm and treating your child’s misbehavior with a kind but firm stance works best. Yelling at children is not recommended and may affect your child’s behavior at later stages. Thus, talk to them gently and guide them proactively.

It is essential you practice patience and deal with such actions of your little ones with care. When they see you approach a difficult situation with patience and calm, they will learn to approach similar situations in the same way. Also, teach them how to delay gratification and do not give in to their every request.

2. Spend mealtime together

Having a meal together creates a positive environment in the family. It gives your children a sense of togetherness and helps them learn family values. As learning starts at home, meal time serves as an excellent opportunity to teach table manners to your children. This routine also helps you keep a watch on your child’s nutrition. Besides, mealtime also allows your family to come together and share, connect, and communicate (1).

3. Instill optimism in your child

Encourage your children to practice positive thinking, educate them to set and achieve goals in life, and teach them to be thankful for what they have. Optimism helps create a happy environment in the family. It is known to help improve a person’s physical and mental health and develop coping skills. Teach your child to remain optimistic, and it will give them the confidence to face any challenge without giving up (2).

4. Praise your child’s good behavior

An excited exclamation from you when your child shows good behavior will boost their confidence and motivate them to display similar conduct in the future. Compliment your child when they help you with the chores or do something worthy of praise. This will not only make them feel good but also encourage them to repeat their good deeds.

5. Connect with the surrounding

Spending time outdoors and connecting with the natural world positively affects your physical and mental health (3). Let your child connect with other people and their surroundings by engaging them in outdoor playtime activities. You could also arrange for regular family trekking sessions and bond with your children.

6. Help them develop socially

We all need each other’s support to grow and be happy. Thus, it is crucial to teach children healthy social skills. Good social skills will help build their confidence and improve their collaborative skills. Your children will be happier individuals once they learn how to connect, interact, and share things with others.

7. Communicate openly

Communication is crucial for strengthening the bond among family members. Young children who have a strong bond with their parents feel secure and have an easier time facing difficult situations in life. Listen to what your child has to say, and guide them whenever required. Create a healthy relationship with your child, wherein they feel free to share anything with you, and they’ll become secure and happier individuals.

8. Celebrate milestones

Celebrate every milestone in your child’s life. It could be their first day at school, their first trophy, or the eruption of their first permanent teeth. When your child learns new things in life, express your joy and celebrate those happy moments. Celebrate every little achievement. When you do this, it teaches your children to find joy in every little thing they do.

9. Set a routine

Setting a routine is crucial for instilling family values and developing healthy habits in children. A routine helps your child distinguish between leisure and work and encourages them to make the most of the time they have at hand. You may include regular walks, group play, exercise, meals, sleep time, etc., in their routine.

Setting a routine also helps them become self-independent and improves their self-managing skills, thus increasing their happiness quotient.

10. Track your child’s mood

Being physically active can help children reduce stress. So, when you discover that your children are having a tough time, indulge them in an activity they enjoy. To feel more connected to your children, keep track of their mood and understand how they feel about certain situations. This will help you feel secure and know about your children’s thoughts, which in turn, would increase the bond between you.

11. Pay attention

Make your child feel important. Listen intently and pay attention to what they have to say. When you respond to them with kindness, it will make your little one more open and communicative with you.

12. Teach them teamwork

Indulge your children in activities that involve teamwork. Playing in a group or doing activities with other children will make your children more interactive and improve socio-emotional skills.

13. Reduce screen time

This might seem counterproductive but will help your child in the long run. Limit your child’s screen time to not more than an hour each day. You could instead let them explore their hobbies and introduce them to engaging in educational activities (4). Participate in child-directed play to support your child’s creativity in entertaining themselves.

14. Take part in adventure sports

Very few parents allow their children to participate in adventure sports, and they only let them play in the park. Taking part in adventure sports helps improve your child’s motor skills, builds confidence, and improves endurance. Talk to your child about adventure sports and ask them about activities they would like to do. Learn more about the activity and take part in it with your child. Your child could choose from rock climbing, surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, skiing, etc.

15. Make happiness your family’s slogan

Children bloom when they are raised in a healthy family environment. If you, as a parent, are happy and smile often, you will automatically spread positivity and happiness around them too. Children grow watching their parents, so make sure you spread positivity and are an example for your children. If your child had an awful day, validate your child’s feelings and let them be sad or upset temporarily, but then try to cheer them up with a fun activity or snack.

16. Teach your child to be resilient

Children may have to deal with different problems both at school and at home. Learning resilience skills may help your child manage stress and anxiety. Be aware of what your child is facing and make them resilient. Teach them that failures do not define them and that their effort rather than the result matters.

17. Avoid overparenting

Over-controlling behavior by parents may cause emotional and behavioral problems in a child (5). Do not try to manage or control every aspect of your child’s life, but help them make independent decisions without the fear of failure.

Happiness is contagious. Happy children are the ones who watch their parents being happy and often smiling. They feel safe to share their thoughts or feelings without fearing rejection. Creating good childhood memories and teaching healthy habits can go a long way in making your children happy individuals.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. Jayne A. Fulkerson et al.; Adolescent and Parent Views of Family Meals;Journal of the American Dietetic Association (2006).
2. Ciro Conversano et al.; Optimism and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Well-Being;Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health (2010).
3. A prescription for better health: Go alfresco;Harvard Health Publishing
4. New WHO guidance: Very limited daily screen time recommended for children under 5;American Optometric Association
5. Holly H Schiffrin et al.; Helping or Hovering? The Effects of Helicopter Parenting on College Students’ Well-Being;Psychological Science (20130.
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Manjari Srivastava

Manjari Srivastava is a graduate of psychology. She also holds certificates in Basics In Clinical Psychology and Identifying Early Signs Of Psychosis In Adolescents And Young Adults.  Previously, she volunteered with an NGO specializing in positive psychology, where she took up individual counseling sessions for students. She also taught English to underprivileged children and helped them with their studies. At MomJunction,... more