I’m not so sure these are secrets, but they are well researched, and some were surprising to me, so buckle up and be open to what may be new ideas.
Happy parents make happy kids
Studies have shown that unhappy parents tend to have unhappy children. The same studies also showed that happy parents tend to have happy children. Exposing your children to your happiness, the joy of seeing friends, the warmth of being around extended family, laughing, smiling, etc. teach children by example.
Everyone wants their kids to be the smartest, fastest, most confident kid in town, but that’s not realistic. So let your kids know that errors and flaws are fine. Encourage them and teach them to work hard, but accept imperfections openly. Research shows that if a child is overly praised for being smart, they take fewer learning leaps because they don’t want to put their ‘smart’ status at risk. Research also shows that kids with a lot of pressure to achieve are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. It’s all part of…
Unconditional love doesn’t mean no punishments or discipline, it just means not letting the need for discipline shroud the constant presence of love, which won’t disappear – no matter what they do. This will give them confidence to take risks, making them more likely to succeed in life.
There is a classic psychological study where children were offered one marshmallow that they can eat immediately, or if they waited a few minutes to eat the marshmallow, they’d get a second one for being patient. Kids who were able to wait were more likely to succeed in school and social skills. Kids with self-control, who are able to hold off urges, are more disciplined. They are able to occupy their minds better and are less tempted to take the easy path.
Children need to play. They need to have fun. Research shows that playing is good for them for many reasons too, like teaching them how to get along with others, winning or losing gracefully, sharing, and negotiating. And nothing is as heartwarming as seeing children at play, so it’s good for parents too (and we already know happy parents make happy kids, right?).
Children don’t understand order. They react to impulses without much of an internal clock. A parent needs to provide that discipline. When to go to sleep, when to eat dinner, what pre-sleep rituals should be, and so on. It may not be fun to be the rule-maker, but that structure makes kids feel more confident and comfortable and, believe it or not, less likely to rebel. But, it’s important to have a balance of discipline and play.
Free to express themselves
Children do best when they are not afraid to express their feelings or opinions. We already know that flaws and errors have to be okay, but now we have to let them be heard. A child who is unable to express himself is more likely to bottle up, develop anxiety, and have challenges with relationships.
These steps will put you on the path to having happy children. To learn more, read from the sources that this information came from:
How to Raise Happy Kids: 10 Steps Backed by Science
7 Secrets of Highly Happy Children