Five Keys to Raising Happy Children

In today's post we will look at 5 things that could help parents in raising happy and content children.

  1. Give them security.Children thrive in a secure environment. Secure children are happy children. What makes a child secure?

    1. Routine - knowing what to expect

    2. Care - knowing their needs will be met

    3. Safety - knowing they have both physical safety and emotional safety (a safe place to share their feelings and needs)

    4. Guidance - knowing they don’t have to face life alone - even if they act like they want to sometimes!

    5. Good relationships. When the parents have a good relationship with each other and with all the members of the household, it brings security to the children.

  1. Lovethem unconditionally.Of course we love our children, but dotheyknow that? There is often a breakdown in the relationship, so that the child doesn’t feel love coming from their parent. Make sure to say “I love you”, but more importantly, to put value on your child so they feel loved by you. How do you show love to your children? Author Gary Chapman suggests five ways to show love.

    1. Physical affection - hugs, backrubs, wrestling matches, cuddling in the rocking chair

    2. Encouraging words - “you’re special”, “I believe in you” “I’m so glad you’re my son.”

    3. Time - it is often said that love is spelled T.I.M.E. This is especially true for children. Be there for them - play with them, read to them, listen to their problems and stories, give them time.

    4. Gifts - this one is often the easiest for us, but needs to be balanced with the others

    5. Helping or serving - in ways that are meaningful to them. Of course we are helping our children by going to work, cleaning the house or fixing meals, but they don’t see that as service until they’re much older. What is something you can do for your child that will speak love to them - such as build a playhouse, fix a toy, or help with homework.

  1. Teach them Contentment.It is easy for parents to think that if they give their children everything they want, then they will be happy. But have you ever noticed how short-lived that happiness is? A new toy is wonderful for five minutes, until they see a better one they want. True happiness is found in being content with what you have and not wanting more! Some ways to teach contentment:

    1. Fix a broken item instead of buying a new one.

    2. Encourage them to earn money and save up for things they want.

    3. Don’t encourage “window-shopping” or shopping when you don’t intend to buy.

    4. Don’t be afraid to say no. In fact, do it frequently!

  1. Help them think of others.Do this on a “local” level by discouraging sybling rivalry. Teach them to share with each other and to consider the other person’s needs. Also do this on a “global” level, by teaching them about the plight of street children, refugee children, and others who are less fortunate. You and your child can even get involved in sponsoring a poor school child or serving at a soup kitchen to teach compassion.

  1. Find joy in the little things.Young children have a natural delight in very small things - a butterfly, a flower, a raindrop, a cookie. Foster this. Make a point of enjoying a sunset together, exclaiming over a brightly-colored house, or picking a flower to put on the table. If you are excited about little things, they will be too!