Source: Raise Happy Children by Glenda Weil and Doro Marden, 2010
Happy children should have the following characteristics:
- expressive of their feelings
- responsible and independent
Basic principles to raise happy children:
- Happy children know that they are loved and also know that their parents are in charge.
- Remember that play, fun, and cuddles are not just “extras’ but a vital element in bringing up happy children.
- A playful approach and humor can often neutralize a situation and lead to a win-win solution.
- ACT, don’t REACT is the fundamental formula for connecting with your child. It means that you have to STOP and think “What am I feeling and what do I want in this situation?
So, what the parents should do? Here are some of them:
- Touch is the fundamental way of showing love.
- Children need to be challenged. Parents can help by: * praising effort more than results and, * treating failures as ways to learn rather than disasters.
- Recognizing and naming feelings is the way to help children manage their emotions, so they grow up capable of coping with life’s ups and downs.
- Boundaries are necessary to enable children to live happily alongside others and to develop self-discipline.
- Agree simple family rules based on values that you feel are important, e.g. kindness, respect, appreciation.
- Making sense of your own childhoods to break any negative patterns from the past. Research shows that the key quality of parent-child relationship is not so much what actually happened to the parents when they were little, but rather how parents have thought about it and how they talk about it in the present.