Parenting with Positivism : Issue 6

Making Kids Happy

Happy New Year! We are confident that the year has begun on a very positive note, and you’re enjoying the chill in the air with your little champions around!
Here’s a thought: in 2015, let us take some time out and think to ourselves:
“How can I help my kids be happier this year? How can I raise their hopes and make wishes come true and make them happy?”

Studies say that emotional health in childhood ‘is the key to future happiness’. For that matter money, success and good grades are less important. In the larger scheme of things, inconsequential, perhaps, we all want the same things for our kids. We want them to grow up to love and be loved, to follow their dreams, to find success. Mostly, though, we want them to be happy. But just how much control do we have over our children’s happiness?

Beginning of a year is an opportune time to help your child reflect on memories of the bygone year and make meaningful and achievable New Years’ resolution. Celebrate the old and welcome the new as your child gets ready for another year of their awesome life! Help them celebrate their life- New beginnings.

Is your child happy?

The surest way to promote your child’s lifelong emotional well-being is to help him feel connected — to you, other family members, friends, neighbors, daycare providers, even to pets. A connected childhood is the key to happiness. There is a caution to not be over-cuddling or indulge in insulating the childhood completely. This may provide short term happiness, but provide for long term damage. Foster a growth mindset in your child!

Keep checking

  • Whether your child is happy with the school you have chosen for him/her?
  • Whether he/she is having many friends with whom he/she can share their belongings/emotions etc?
  • Whether your child is happy with the food he/she eats, clothes he/she wears, places he/she visits and the games he/she plays? Whether your child is happily spending time on the various activities they are involved with?
  • Whether your child is happy at home?
  • Help your child gain good social skills.
  • Help your child become Independent.
  • Be the catalyst for keeping your child to be happy, always!
  • Talk to your child every day-even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  • Put down your mobile, turn off your laptop when your child (or you) return home, at mealtimes and story times, and when you pick your child up from school. Look at him and make eye contact while having a conversation.
  • Speak to your child in the tone and with the words that you wish he/she would use with others
  • Express your love every day, no matter how tough the day was.

Above all, keep your eyes open. Don’t allow problems with your child to fester and grow. Open your eyes and observe if a child seems sad, withdrawn, distant, more moody than usual, or angry. Recognize if there seems to be greater confrontation among them and siblings, if friends stop calling or coming over, or if the child can’t seem to find his place in school. Because before you know it, half the year can go by and what could have been a small problem has now become a ‘situation’ that requires major time and investment and causes avoidable discomfort.

Find out the problem and make your child happy. Celebrate the New beginnings, caring and sharing with your kids this New Year.

We begin this year with some tips for you, the parent, as well. Here goes.

  • Forgive more

    The Buddha once said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

    Remember everyone is fighting their own battle, and everyone is trying their best. Learn to forgive other people and set yourself free. You will see that as you do this, your relationship with your child would improve, and you’d have a happier household.

  • Meditate daily

    Meditation is a beautiful way to still your mind — giving you a break from circling thoughts, worries and anxieties. Start with two minutes a day and build your way up to longer sittings.

  • See the world as awe-inspiring

    Imagine if you woke up this morning and saw the world around you for the first time. You would be absolutely amazed, fascinated and excited. Start now!

  • Let go of things you can’t control

    When the bus is late, the queue is long or the café runs out of your favorite salad, take a deep breath and let it go. Don’t allow external events to steal your inner peace and joy.

  • Experience the flow of things you love

    When you focus on doing something you truly love, you lose your sense of ego and time. It may be through dancing, cooking, writing, running, building, painting or something unique to you.

  • Be more present

    Try bringing yourself back to the present moment. See the difference in your child too!

  • Spend time in nature

    Make time for more bush walks, beach trips, picnics in the park and reading by the river. No river near you? Make time to travel then. Show nature to your child. They’d love it.

  • Take up yoga/ exercise

    Yoga is a beautiful way to align your body and soul — this in turn can increase your sense of wholeness and inner peace. It’s also the kind of exercise you can do anywhere, without equipment, once you’ve learned a few simple moves. If you’re the gym types, or running types- hit the road! Let the toxins out of your body!

  • Spend time alone with yourself

    You need time alone to catch up on updates from the person you really need to stay in touch with — yourself.

  • Establish a morning ritual

    Morning rituals can be beautifully soothing and set the tone for your day. It can be anything from a few minutes or a whole hour. Drink a warm lemon juice, read a few pages of an inspiring book, meditate, write a gratitude diary or goals list, or sit in peaceful silence as the world begins to stir.

  • Practice gratitude

    There is a reason gratitude is being promoted everywhere lately — it’s one of life’s sweet shortcuts to happiness. By focusing your attention on all of the beautiful things and simple joys in life, you will notice and attract more and more of them.

  • Give without strings attached

    Giving and receiving are one in truth. When you give to someone with no strings attached — whether it be a physical gift, a compliment or your time — you are nourished as well as the receiver.

  • Compare less

    Mark Twain once said, “Comparison is the death of joy”. Life would be pretty boring if every restaurant was the same, every romantic partner was the same, or every day was the same. Accept when things are not as you expected and appreciate that it makes life interesting.

  • Make time for friendship

    One of the top five regrets of the dying is not spending enough time with friends. Create a weekly or monthly ritual with your friends. You’ll be happier!

  • Be gentle on yourself

    As the Buddhist saying goes, “We are all perfect as we are, and we could all use a little work.” Accept the self, and go on with improvement!