In times like these, small acts of joy can go a long way, especially with children. Right now, you might be struggling to feel joyful and hopeful. However, there are ways you can invite happiness into your daily life, especially with your children who need support now more than ever. You do not have to seek perfection, but you should find joy in your daily routine to stay sane. Here are some tips for raising joyful children.
Some kids are more on the grouchier side while others are more dispositioned to be cheerful, but joy can be a skill that we can learn. Christine Carter, who wrote the book “Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents” said:
“Think of happiness as a set of skills rather than an inborn personality trait. Some kids are going to be good at picking it up quickly, others are going to struggle. But we all need to be taught basic grammar. And we all need to practice that grammar to become fluent.”
To Be Joyful You Need to Be An Optimist
Helping a child to look on the bright side of life will make their teen years easier. Australian researchers found that 13-years-old who are optimistic about life are less likely to be depressed. Obviously, optimism and depression do not overlap. When a child has an issue, encourage them to recognize the problem, realize what caused it, and how a situation can be improved. Also, keep in mind that a child will pick up your positive or negative outlook on life so rather than complaining about everything in front of your child, lead by example and become optimistic for your child to become one.
To Be Joyful You Need to Be Kind
Adults and children often focus on their own needs. We have little or no time to help others but in the long run that will not make us happy. According to a study, if people participated in meaningful activities such as helping others, they were happier. According to Richard Weissbourd, children should understand that kindness is a priority over happiness. When being kind to others, happiness comes on its own. Provide opportunities for children to practice gratitude and caring by expanding a child’s circle to more than family and friends and by being a good role model.
To Be Joyful You Cannot Push Perfectionism
Pushing on perfectionism will lead us to become miserable because we cannot always be perfect for every little thing around us, right? Perfectionism is not a realistic way of thinking at all. Encourage your child to their best but not to seek perfectionism. They should realize that there is no such thing as being perfect. Psychologists believe that it is more important to praise a child for their hard work and effort than for skills, intelligence, and test results. If a child is praised for a result, they are more likely to not do more for even better results while praise for effort will push them to do to better. Realizing that it is perfectly normal not to be perfect is an essential skill for happiness. We must understand that we learn when we make mistakes and that’s a completely normal part of one’s life.
To be Joyful You Need Willpower
What is the major sign of success? Self-discipline. I cannot stress enough how self-discipline and the ability to delay gratification are important. Especially now, right? You probably heard about a study where pre-schoolers were offered marshmallows and they were given two options to eat one now, or two in 15 minutes. Those who were able to delay pleasure were twice more successful and happier later in life than those who grabbed one, right now. How to develop willpower? A child who is focused on the reward is more likely to have stronger willpower. Additionally, learning more about self-discipline can help children learn how to deal with stress and frustration later in life and that will lead to a happier and more joyful life.