As a mommy blogger and as a mom to two teenagers and a tween (I wish I could say that I have been there, done that, but parenting is such a complicated, happy mess that nobody can even claim to have perfected it), I have asked and been asked,
“How do you raise happy kids?”
This is a question so near and dear to every loving parent’s heart. No matter what we teach them, if we haven’t taught them how to be happy, everything that we wish they would be is pretty useless.
So how do we raise happy kids? Let Winsome Coutts share with you two tips.
Tip No. 1 : Model Happiness
Be your child’s role model for happiness. You can’t teach your child happiness if you are not happy yourself, right?
Being a parent is tough. I know. Trying to make a living while parenting is hard. Attending an after-five meeting while your kids are home waiting for your home-cooked meal breaks your heart. I know. But you see, sometimes, we compensate our lesser time with our kids by cleaning up after them, buying them things they claim they badly need, and giving in to their needs way ahead of our own.
Parenting should not turn us into a short-order restaurant or a maid. Our kids who perceive their parents as somebody who will cater to their whims learn to be selfish. They will start believing that they own the world and others should follow and do everything they ask. They will start to feel that the world owes them.
So, for just a moment, ask yourself. If you go home tired from work, does your child look at you sourly and ask you what is for dinner? Or is she happy to see you and happily tell you how her day was?
Don’t exist for your children alone. Every time you take care of yourself, make time for yourself, do things that make you happy, your child will perceive and learn from you. If she sees you following your passion and being happy, she will learn from you. On the other hand, if you cater to her every whim and do everything that makes her happy, to the point that it is not good for either of you anymore, she will learn that being a parent must be sad because it always involves self-denial and sacrifice.
So, how do you raise happy kids? Be good to yourself. Treat yourself with respect and dignity the same way you treat your child. Never allow her to disrespect you any more than you would allow a stranger to be rude to you kids. Pursue your passion and make sure you have your own mommy time. Be sure to tell her you need your own mommy time. This will show that you care enough for yourself and will make you happy.
Tip No. 2 : One-on-One Personal Time With Your Child
What were your happiest memories as a child?
For me, it would be that time when my dad took me to the park, rode the play train and held his hand as the train passed the dark tunnel. And the times when my mom and I would check out the desserts in a new restaurant.
Setting aside personal time with your child, without distractions and interruptions, is a way of telling her that she is important and loved. Focusing on your child and the moment alone with her is much more powerful than those moments we spend time with her while we cook dinner, drive her to her dance lessons or call or text her on her cell phone.
Children thrive on loving, focused, personal attention the way plants thrive on sunshine. Structure in some focused attention every day, even if it’s only for five or ten minutes. Look at your child when he talks to you, so he knows you’re completely with him. In love, it’s the subtle things that count.
Giving focused attention teaches self-worth: your child knows she’s valuable because you value her, enough to carve out time for you and her, uninterrupted by the world, for those moments. That spells love, and when she knows you love her, by your actions not your words, that brings security and heart fulfillment, essential foundations of happiness.
In this busy world where parents work two jobs and where kids’ social calendars can rival those of debutants, it isn’t easy to make time to take care of yourself and uninterrupted time for you and your child. But for happiness, nothing could be more important. Think about your schedule, what is nonessential that you can cut out, or wasted moments that you can eliminate. Use that harvested time to be good to you and your kid. Your child’s happiness, and yours, depend on it.
Do you want to know how to raise happy kids? Grab this free e-book!
Winsome Coutts holds a teacher’s certificate in education and has written hundreds of articles on self-development. She has studied with Bob Proctor and John Demartini, popular teachers featured on “The Secret” DVD. She is the passion behind the www.4lifehappykids.com and is a parent and grandparent.
Winsome is author of “Go for Your Goals” for kids – a set of downloadable e-books that guide your child through the joyful steps of learning visualization, goal-setting and the Law of Attraction. Simple language enhanced with beautiful illustrations and worksheets make these books appealing and motivating. To learn more, visit www.4lifehappykids.com