How do you know you have a happy child? When you give in to every demand? No, that’s not a happy child. That’s simply a spoilt child.
We all don’t want a spoilt child, but sometimes we subconsciously equate giving them what they want to making them happy.
So, again, how do you know you have a happy child? I don’t claim to have happy children 100% of the time but each child of mine has gone through what I would call different mood phases that sometimes last a few weeks or months. Sometimes it is just obvious that they’re not happy little kids and sometimes it just shows in everything they do that they’re contented little kids.
From my humble experience, here are some of the noticeable characteristics of a happy child vs unhappy child:
The characteristics of an unhappy child are often mistaken as their personalities, but they’re not. I know this firsthand because my children can go from one “personality” to another.
Thus, we can conclude that their behaviour does not always reflect their personality, but rather their overall mood.
So how do we help our children be happy little people? Here are my top 5 suggestions:
Instil good sleeping habits
A well-rested child equals a happy little child. It’s common knowledge. Ensuring your child gets enough sleep, however, is not only about getting them to bed early every night. Children who can truly have good sleep are ones that go to bed at the same time everyday, ones that can fall asleep on their own and sleep throughout the night with little waking up.As long as your child has disturbed sleep, looking for you in the middle of the night, she’s losing the benefits of a good night’s sleep. And that often translates into more crankiness throughout the day and if it happens for a prolonged period of time, children deprived of good nights’ sleep may develop symptoms of minor depression.
Provide a balanced diet (ditch the junk food)
You are what you eat. I will add also that you feel what you eat. Children who eat nutritious food are happier little people as compared to those who binge on snacks and sweets. So wean them off junk food.
Children learn from what they see better than from what they’re told. There’s little use in telling them to “look on the bright side” if everyday you and your spouse complain about life, work or certain people. Instead, make it a habit to talk about the upside of unfortunate events and talk about what you’re grateful for each day.
Teach them self-regulation
The term “self-regulation” is used to refer to a range of characteristics and abilities. A child with self-regulatory skills is able to focus his attention, control his emotions and manage his thinking, behaviour and feelings.
A child that has good self-regulation is better able to accept rejections, conflicts and disappointments. As they do not dwell on the negative emotions for too long, they can return to their happiness baseline on their own.
Train them to combat boredom
A child that does not rely on external stimulation for happiness is a happy child. It’s best if parents can reduce structured activity timings for their children and allow them to have free unstructured, unsupervised time. This way, they learn how to entertain themselves and not rely on gadgets or planned activities to have fun.
What are some of the ways you ensure that your child is a happy child? Share your secrets with our readers in the comments below!