Giving your children happy, healthy childhoods could set them up for success in life. But many parents are often confused as to how to exactly raise happy children in today’s world.
Raising happy children isn’t about giving them momentary pleasure or immediate gratification. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Happy children have a skill set that allows them to enjoy long-term happiness in life. They are able to pass up instant gratification in an effort to reach their goals.
You can help your children develop those skills by adopting healthy, lifelong habits. Below are ways to raise happy children:
Encourage outdoor play
Don’t underestimate the power of outdoor play. Running on the grass, climbing trees, sitting on a swing, and digging in the dirt is good for children.
Children with better social skills are likely to enjoy healthier relationships. So make outdoor play a daily habit. Even when the weather isn’t perfect, encourage your kids to ride their bikes, play with neighborhood kids, and run around in the great outdoors.
Limit screen time
Your child might insist that playing endless hours of video games makes him happy. But too much screen time is bad for your child’s psychological well-being.
Establish clear limits on your child’s screen time. If he has a smart phone, limit his access when you are doing family activities, riding in the car, or when he’s playing outside. And set clear guidelines about how much time he can spend watching TV and using the computer.
Have expectations but they shouldn’t be too high
Children who strive to do hard things are more likely to live happier lives. Your expectations have a big impact on your child’s willingness to challenge himself or herself. Your children will work hard to meet your expectations as long as your expectations are reasonable.
Expecting your child to be perfect could increase your child’s risk of mental health issues. Your child may also give up on her goals set for her if she feels like you set the bar impossibly high.
Your children won’t love clearing the table or dusting the living room now. But, assigning chores could be a key factor in helping them achieve long-term happiness.
Chores can also teach children a variety of life lessons—such as responsibility and community service. They may also learn they can cope with boring tasks or that they are capable of persisting even when they feel frustrated.
Making their beds and cleaning the kitchen can also give them a sense of accomplishment and show them that even though they are young, they are capable of making a difference.
Assign regular chores and expect your children to get them done. And you will help them learn life skills that will help them live happier lives as adults.
Avoid overindulging your children
Buying your children lots of gifts on holidays or giving them everything they want won’t actually make them happy. In fact, overindulging kids may actually take a toll on their psychological well-being.
So resist the urge to get your children everything they want. Even though they might insist that having the newest smart phone, more brand name clothing, and a better bicycle will make them happy, this is not always the case.