We all want happier children, but how do we do it? Here are 12 ways you can raise happier children.
1. Stop Yelling At Them.
2. Praise Them.
Praise them because they want your approval and attention and happiness. It makes them feel secure and loved.
3. Play with them.
Play allows them to get out stress and anxiety. Active play keeps them in shape. Role play helps them learn to handle situations. Imaginative play helps them learn creativity and problem solving.
5. Model Behaviors.
Be their role model. Hold open doors, thank people, return your shopping carts, offer to help a neighbor with your children there so they can see what kind and compassionate people do.
7. Share Your Own Emotional Struggles.
Open up to your kids about things make you feel and how you deal with them.
8. Let Them Fail.
Don't do your children's homework for them. What good does it do them of you are up past midnight covered in glitter and paint while they wake up to a magically created project? What happens when they have to describe what they did in high school and they didn't do half the work?
They need to learn to earn it. Besides, chances are, one day they will take a math class beyond your ability. What then? :)
9. Don't Compare Them to Others.
I know it is easy to fall into the trap with other parents where you ask about school and how their kid is doing because it is small talk and the only thing you have in common, but don't start comparing kids.
10. Keep Adult Issues Behind Closed Doors.
Please do not talk about how you need to skip paying this bill this week in front of your child. They have enough stress in their lives without having to worry about adult issues, too. It's okay to tell them if you lose your job and will be looking for a new one, that they won't be able to take that vacation or go to camp. But issues with family members, money, or adult topics need to be behind closed doors. Children pick up on things and take things to heart way too easily.
11. Give Them Responsibility.
Teaching them responsibility is the biggest, next to accountability, lesson we can teach. Reward them with money, treats, or special things when they do show responsibility. Take away money, treats, or special things when they fail to do them. Having to hand back dollar bills that they have earned because they failed to cooperate with a sibling will make them think twice about fighting in the future (for example).
12. Give Them Choices.
Focus on one at a time or many of these 12 to improve the relationship between you and your children. Sit down with them and discuss as a family the areas to work on. Including them in this decision making process holds you all accountable and establishes a sense of community rather than an 'adults change the rules again and don't follow through' situation. :)