Parenting Joyful Kids
How can parents enhance family morale to raise optimistic and joyful children? While happy families aren’t all the same, research shows they do have some things in common. Here are some habits of happier people that can to help cultivate joy in your children--and in yourself:
- Teach ways to connect to others. Bonding with your newborn is the first step in teaching a child the joy created by connecting. Having positive relationships with others--from close friends and family members to people in your community--shows your child how to cultivate relationships. Discussing and demonstrating ways to be thoughtful and caring to others helps your child learn that behavior, and experience the joy it brings.
- Expect and praise effort. Joyful children feel validated by parents and caregivers. Noticing when a child tries hard builds self-esteem and the willingness to take positive risks. This also applies to parents! Forget being perfect, and give yourself a pat on the back for working hard and doing your best.
- Eat together. Research shows that family meals strengthen connections between family members. Regularly eating with children builds resilience and a sense of belonging; children who eat with their families have stronger vocabularies and do better in school, and are less likely to abuse substances.
- Create a happier home environment. When a home is calm, clean, and safe, it helps everyone feel happier. Noise, arguments, and dirt or clutter can create stress; work to change those things. Open windows and air out the house for a change of feeling. Take note of good things in your life and discuss with your children at home.
For more information of happier kids, visit our Mental Health section
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