If you ask most parents around the world, what they would most like for their children, a common thread is they would all like for them to be happy. Interesting right? But how does one go about achieving this? According to science, here are 5 simple everyday ways you can encourage happiness:
Get happy yourself
Did you know by being happy yourself as a parent, can have such an impact on your child’s happiness? Although it makes sense, it can also be a confronting thought, as sometimes as parents we prioritize all our resources in the belief it will make our kids happier. But it seems according to science, by simply being happy ourselves it can have one of the biggest impact on your family. And if you think about it, doesn’t it make sense? For example, over reacting to the noisy play in the living room when you are feeling grumpy, rather than enjoying the moment when you are feeling relaxed. Especially curious about this point? Check out the book ‘Raising Happiness’ by Christine Carter. for inspiration. So no more feeling guilty about going to that gym class or meeting up with your friends for a vino!
More unstructured playtime
One big difference about how kids these days spend their time, in comparison to the previous generation is the amount of unstructured playtime. Sometimes in wanting the best for our kids, we fill up their agenda with piano class, sports and other extracurricular activities. Some extra classes are great, but according to science it is important to be mindful and balance it out with plenty of unstructured playtime. This way children can use their imagination, ‘feel bored’ and find an alternative activity, etc… Who would have known?! And as a plus, this usually translates into less TV and more outdoor playtime. It is essential to learning and growing.
Eat dinner together
This can be a tough one for many families, as often it can conflict with the family schedule. But don’t sweat it, it doesn’t have to be every day. Even as infrequently as once a week can already make a difference. According to a comprehensive study done between 1981 and 1997 by the University of Michigan eating mealtimes together was more influential than time spent in other educational environments. The research found that kids that enjoy meals together may have larger vocabularies, healthier eating habits, better manners and higher self esteem. Read more about it here.
Goodbye perfectionism! Or at least this is what we should aim for, because according to research, praising effort rather than intelligence encourages children to be persistent and that improvement is possible. More on mindful praise here!
Make sure they get their sleep
Sleep. Important for everyone’s happiness! But did you know it can affect intelligence too? According to various studies, missing precious sleep hours can also affect brain development. Not always in your control, but if you are awoken by bedwetting events frequently in the night, perhaps it is time to try the Oopsie Heroes bedwetting alarm!At least in this situation there is something you can do about it.
What are your tips for raising happy kids? We would love to hear!
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