As a mom, I know that one of the biggest desires of a parent for their child is for them to be happy. It seems simple, but we all know it is easier said than done.
What is happiness? To our kids it might look like getting the toy they want or to play their favorite video game all day long. As adults we know that happiness is bigger than that. We want our kids to feel good about themselves, understand their choices, know how to handle their emotions, and be successful human beings.
Here are 7 tips to raising happy kids.
1) Learn to Be Happy Yourself
It is easy to get lost in motherhood. The love of a mother is unlike anything else, and it can cause us to put our kids well before us. Sometimes this is needed. You wouldn't expect a new baby to wait for you to eat before you feed them in the middle of the night. When our kids come to us with a problem, sometimes it has to come before our own needs. It is important to show our kids they are important to us by being willing to drop what we are doing for them.
But it is also important to fill up our own cup. If you never give to yourself, you don't have anything to give to your kids. You can be a better mom if you focus on doing some simple things for yourself each day. Set an example for our kids. Think about how you want them to treat themselves, and treat yourself the same way. What do you love to do? Find some time to do it, even if it is only for 5 minutes. Find a time of day to get yourself grounded, journal, meditate, or whatever speaks to you. It doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming. Make yourself a priority, and it will help you be able to be there for your kids better.
2) Focus on Gratitude
Gratitude is such a powerful, yet simple tool! When you are feeling down or discouraged, gratitude is always a good way to help you see that you have things to be grateful for. Gratitude is a powerful tool for kids too, and it is a valuable thing for them to learn while they are young.
Gratitude helps train the brain to have more positive thoughts and to find the good in the world. Hard things happen, but if kids are aware of their thoughts and know how to train their brains to find the good in any situation, they will be happier and more successful in life.
Practicing gratitude daily will help your kids better manage their thoughts and emotions, and create a better sense of well-being. Our Grateful Kids Gratitude Challenge is a great way to help your kids start practicing gratitude. Get it free below.
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3) More Free Playtime
Play has many benefits for children. Tools like meditation and mindfulness are valuable, but did you know that for kids, play accomplishes the same thing? Children are wired to play and use their imaginations. When we foster and encourage this innate need, we are helping our kids be happier.
4) Positive Relationships
Everyone needs to feel loved and accepted. It is a basic need. When that need is filled at home, it makes a positive impact throughout a child's entire life. Kids who are loved and accepted as they are by their parents are more likely to love and accept themselves. They are also more likely to be happy and live a fulfilled life.
Spending time together as a family is important. Eating dinner together as a family is a simple way to make this happen.
5) Sense of Power
It is hard to feel powerless, and kids often feel like they don't have much control in their lives. This is often for good reason. Parents know best, and they want to keep their kids safe, so they create rules and boundaries to do so. This is good!
Help your kids to find their power by giving them choices. Which shirt do they want to wear? Do they want waffles or oatmeal for breakfast? Do they think they would rather walk to school or get a ride? Give kids safe choices, and they will feel empowered and happier in their lives.
6) Positive Media Influences
As an adult, I have noticed how much the media I take in affects me. The things I watch, read, and listen to affect me deeply. Media and technology is a big deal for our kids too! Everywhere they go they are given messages and ideas. All of these messages have an impact on our kids and their thoughts and emotions. It is important to make sure the media your child takes part in is clean, positive, and in moderation. Kids who have good boundaries with their media are happier.
7) Positive Self Worth
Another innate need in life is to know our worth. When kids understand that they are valuable, they will feel better about themselves. As a result of knowing and feeling their worth, they will feel happier.
How do you help your kids know their worth? One of the first things you can do is teach them about their thoughts. Our program, Our Thoughts Are Like Seeds, provides 5-10 minute lessons and activities each day to help your child learn about their thoughts and learn how to better manage them.
7 Tips for Raising Happy Kids:
- Learn to be happy yourself. Actions speak louder than words. Take care of yourself so you can give your child the love they need.
- Focus on gratitude. Gratitude is a simple tool to help kids find the positive in their lives. Practicing gratitude daily will improve thoughts, emotions, and sense of well-being.
- More free playtime. For kids, playing has a similar affect as meditation and grounding exercises do for adults.
- Positive relationships. Spend quality time with your kids. Family dinner is a great place to start.
- Sense of power. Giving your child choices will help them feel a sense of power.
- Positive media influences. The things kids read, watch, and listen to affect how they feel. Rules and boundaries for media are important for kids to be happy.
- Positive self worth. It is important for kids to understand they are valuable. Helping them to understand their thoughts is a good first step.