Raising happy children

It’s actually not difficult, since children are naturally happy and find happiness easily.

All you really have to do is not actively undermine them and you’re already ahead.

I took to heart some painful lessons from my own childhood, and so with my kids I make an effort to:

Not belittle them, their efforts or their interests.

Not criticise, pick on, or draw attention to perceived faults.

Not mock, ridicule or laugh at them.

Limit the harm

We aren’t perfect. I get angry, frustrated, and can be petty or stubborn.

But I make an effort to limit the harm my bad mood might have on my kids.

I apologise to them, and explain that even if they’ve done something wrong, they aren’t to blame for my mood.

Sometimes our reactions as parents can be remarkably childish. It’s important to admit that and apologise rather than dig in and get defensive.

Focus on happiness

As part of my own efforts to be happier I’ve taught my son the “feeling game”, which is basically about finding good things to focus on rather than bad ones.

He’s taken to it with enthusiasm, and will even remind me of it when I’m frustrated or tired.

He has learned through his own experience that focusing on the wanted aspects of life is far more enjoyable than whining about the unwanted.

I don’t think we have to be perfect to be good parents. But I hope at least that my kids will grow up with a clear sense that happiness is accessible to them, and that my honest admission of my slip-ups and shortcomings on this path will aid them in their own journey.

4 thoughts on “Raising happy children

  1. Prov 13
    Hope deferred makes the heart sick,

    but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

    13He who despises instruction will pay the penalty,

    but the one who respects a command will be rewarded

  2. Prov22

    Darby Bible Translation
    Folly is bound in the heart of a child; the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

    • The rod of correction need not be physical but better if a child is doing something to another that he would not want done to self then point that out and if the child continues. Then withhold something of its extra favors it enjoys till it does right by the golden rule in its own behaviors

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