We as parents want our children to be happy and healthy. It is our responsibility to provide them with the tools they need to develop and thrive emotionally. So how can we raise motivated, fulfilled, and happy children?
You might often wonder whether parenting today is harder or not. The answer is, it has always been hard. However, parenting in the 21st century is very different from the one we grew up in. Technology – social media, in particular, has changed parenting over the years. As the first generation to raise our kids in the digital age, we are now making up some of the rules as we go along.
However, parents around the world raise their children in different ways. But there are certain habits that can help our kids find lasting happiness. Here are some tips for raising happy children in the digital age.
Be a Role Model
We as parents need to ensure that happiness radiates around us. A happy family makes happy children. Kids need their parents around, and they prefer a calm, non-threatening environment, free from anxiety and stress. It’s important to create a home environment where your child’s happiness will flourish.
Children are generally more attached to their mothers at this age. You have to be a role model yourself. If you are a working mom, it can take a toll on you. Little children are so sensitive to our own moods. You must stay cognizant that your moods, frowns, and irritability will affect your child’s happiness.
Instill Grit in Your Child
It is our job as a parent not to protect our children from disappointment, but to teach them how to handle it. Keep in mind that you are raising a human being, not a baby and you want them to have a fulfilled life. Let them try to figure things out on their own – it will help them develop resilience and perseverance.
There are a couple of things we can learn from movies as well. Pixar’s animated film Inside Out has some great messages for young parents. One important message from the movie is sometimes it’s fine to be unhappy and not to be brave or put on a happy face. That means we need to be ok with negative feelings, ours, and theirs.
The pace of life, the increasing demands on the family and schools, is probably doing more harm than good to our children. Now new Moms and Dads have little bonding time with their new baby. Mom gets little time to recover from labor as she has to deal with work after maternity leave, family, rush hour traffic, hormone changes, and a lot of things.
It’s very important to establish a good parent-child bond. Be aware of the environment and factors which make your baby happy/unhappy or mood swings from time to time. They might also need a little “screen time” on occasion. It’s all about striking a balance.
Practicing gratitude can lead to a stronger sense of well-being. Children notice things in their lives for which they could be grateful. So It’s important that we, as parents, create a culture of appreciation at home. Watch TV shows and movies together that inspire gratitude. It can also be great fun to teach your kids a dozen different ways to say “Thank you” and “You’re welcome!”
A well-disciplined routine is very important to raise motivated, fulfilled, and happy children. Read to your children every night before going to bed and get them to bed at the same time every night. You don’t have to set too many rules if you are consistent. Regular bedtime routine, mealtimes, and behavior rules can at least minimize the eternal and predictable limit-testing behavior of children which creates most conflict.
Get Them Outside
Nature can make us happier and boost our mental health. Generally, experts say that toddlers should have at least thirty minutes of structured physical activity and at least sixty minutes of active free play per day. Go for a walk at least once a day as the fresh air help boost their imagination and it’s also a learning experience. Sometimes you can just go out to the backyard to water plants, or make daisy chains. But don’t stress yourself.
Help Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem
Encourage activities and hobbies that give kids an internal sense of self-worth. Be a role model by rejecting social media as a parent. Show your children that you don’t need followers and likes to feel good about yourself. Teaching our kids how to use social media starts with how we use it ourselves.
Always recognize the good things your kids do and save the criticism for serious offenses. It is really important to make sure you are correcting the unaccepted behaviors. Make it clear that it’s her behavior, not her, that’s unacceptable.
Limit your child’s screen times at home. Little children learn by their parent’s example. If you are always on your cell phone playing electronic games all the time, even at the dinner table, you are setting a terrible example for your child. Sometimes, It’s okay to enjoy media together, but set limits so it doesn’t interfere with face-to-face interactions.
Happiness is a complex state of mind that can be strengthened with practice. Always strive to spend time with your little bundle of joy, even if it means making some personal sacrifices on your part.
What are your thoughts about raising motivated, fulfilled, and happy children? Please share what’s worked for you!