Every parent wants their kids to be happy and well-adjusted. But unfortunately, many parents may not know what it takes to raise children who are not easily frustrated and have an overall positive attitude.
Many parents tend to be overly permissive in order to keep their children happy. While this may seem like a good approach, its disadvantages might get in the way of raising children into individuals with a progressive, healthy mindset.
This is because overly permissive parenting does not involve regulation or setting limits that foster positive behavior in kids. As a result, they often struggle with impulse control, which may lead to several behavioral issues.
So, how can you keep your children happy while ensuring they grow up with a responsible attitude toward life?
You can nurture positive habits that will help your children learn to find happiness. In this blog, we are going to discuss the seven habits of happy children, so continue reading.
Habit 1: They Are Proactive
Being proactive is a fundamental skill children should learn at a young age. Being proactive helps achieve goals, overcome challenges, and build healthy and positive relationships. Proactive children take control of their lives and, hence, have a higher confidence in their abilities and greater happiness.
Proactivity helps children:
- Take responsibility for their choices and actions
- Solve problems without depending on others
- Set realistic goals and work toward accomplishing those goals
- To be optimistic
- To be grateful for what they already have
- To be resilient
How to Nurture Proactivity in Your Kids?
As parents, you can perform the following activities to foster proactive behavior in your kids.
- Help them address negative statements about themselves: Children develop pessimistic perceptions about themselves when they attribute their failures or other unfavorable events to their internal quality. For instance, they may think of themselves as stupid upon getting poor grades. You can address this issue by encouraging your kid to think of alternative explanations and providing evidence that self-underestimation is not the right way.
- Encourage them to be proactive in the face of adverse events: Your child may be facing multiple problems in academics, sports, or social interactions. Instead of letting them deal with their problems without a clear strategy, you can ask them to create a list of solutions for every problem. Once the list is ready, ask them to pick solutions they think are most appropriate. While they may not be successful in every attempt, they will learn to think of solutions and never give up.
- Help them set personal goals: Proactive people set personal goals and work to achieve those goals. To encourage proactivity in your kids, you can encourage them to set goals and help them identify steps and key pointers that can help them towards accomplishing objectives. Create a list of goals and check off each one as it is achieved.
- Make them challenge negative thinking: Watch out for behaviors that denote hopelessness and other negative emotions in your child. These behaviors originate from negative experiences. But instead of letting them abstain from having necessary life experiences, you can encourage them to keep note of things that could lead to adverse events. With those points in mind, they will be able to move on and look forward to having new experiences.
Habit 2: They Begin Everything with the End in Mind
Having the end or conclusion of a task in mind helps remain focused on establishing goals. It is one of the fundamental habits to develop in children. With this habit, they plan and strategize steps that help them accomplish their goals.
Children who keep the end in mind do not become stuck and experience frustration for not being able to progress. This habit encourages them to reverse engineer the outcome of any problem and identify steps toward the solution.
Think of a jigsaw puzzle. Its packaging comes with an image of the solved puzzle. This image has been put there so the children would remember the outcome while playing. This makes it easy for them to solve the puzzle.
How to Develop a Keep-The-End-In-Mind Mindset in Children?
There are many other ways parents can help their children think of the outcome first and then identify steps to solve anything playfully. This not only develops problem-solving skills but also helps children learn to keep their frustration under control.
Here are the ways you can teach your kids to always keep the outcome in mind before starting any task:
- Be the change you want to bring: Children emulate what their parents or elders do. So if you want them to avoid distractions by keeping the outcome in focus, embrace the mindset of prioritizing goals. Your kids will follow suit.
- Help your children learn the value of delayed gratification: It is a good idea to tell your children why something good is worth waiting for.
- Set small goals for them: Your kid needs the confidence to achieve future success, and confidence can be built with a sense of accomplishment. The best way to help them develop this sense is to set small goals they can focus on. For instance, you can ask them to finish their homework on time before they can watch their favorite TV show. Don’t forget to acknowledge their accomplishment.
- Praise efforts, not just success: Your kid will succeed sometimes, and sometimes they won’t. What’s necessary for them to be reminded of is the importance of trying. The most effective way to do this is to praise their efforts, even if they haven’t been able to get the desired outcome.
Habit 3: They Put First Things First
Children, like adults, can get stressed when they fail to finish things on time. Teaching children to prioritize the most important tasks is an effective way to ensure they remain more relaxed. You can recall times when you were stressed or worried about failing to finish a certain task simply because you didn’t prioritize it the way it should have been.
Children who put first things first possess the following attributes:
- They are better at managing time and organizing things.
- They have impressive problem-solving skills.
- They are good at regulating emotions and have enhanced interpersonal skills.
- They are flexible and have greater adaptability.
How to Develop the Habit of Putting First Things First In Children?
Aside from becoming role models, parents should work on the following steps to cultivate the habit of prioritization in children:
- Formulate weekly plans: This involves creating a list of tasks that children must accomplish throughout the week. The contents of the list should be sorted based on their importance. Use a calendar to help the children with time management.
- Role-play about the consequences: For example, you can act as if you have failed a math test. Or, you can ask your child to imagine this scenario. This will help them understand the consequences of not being well-prepared.
- Encourage maintaining an activity log: Maintaining an activity log may seem like a boring task for kids. But with some gamification, you can make it a more interesting task. You can ask your child to use their creative abilities to decorate or design their weekly logs.
Habit 4: They Think Win-Win
With fierce competition in almost every aspect of life, many people tend to forget that there are enough good things for everyone. To ensure everyone has a fair share, it is vital to foster a win-win attitude. Parents can cultivate this same mindset in their children to make them happy and caring. This mindset also smoothens the relationship between the parents and children.
Tips for Parents to Develop a Think Win-Win Habit in Their Children
- Engage them in a healthy discussion: Explain how essential it is to be competitive, but not at the expense of relationships. Describe the pitfalls of trying to be a winner at home. Your children must be taught to think of solutions that benefit everyone. Not only will this help reduce problems at home, but your children will be happy.
- Settling sibling disputes: Encourage your children to adopt a win-win approach when resolving disputes among themselves. Make sure that you do not mediate; let them analyze the problem on their own and come up with a workable solution.
Habit 5: They Seek First To Understand, Then to Be Understood
Understanding others before being understood refers to listening before talking. Taking time to listen helps you process information in a better way, allowing you to reach a higher level of communication. While children may not be able to process information like adults, they can be taught listening as a skill.
Children who are good listeners find it easy to regulate their emotions and solve their problems. They tend to be more compassionate because they get a good grasp of others’ points of view. And this contributes significantly to their internal happiness.
How Can You Teach Young Children to Listen?
A few activities that you can perform to cultivate the habit of listening more in your children include the following:
- Listen to what your kid says for a few minutes. They might get frustrated at first and will be curious why you did what you did. Discuss everything you listened to and how they felt when you did not speak. Then, talk to your kid and have them ignore what you say. Tell them how you felt about it.
- Play a game where both of you try to convey messages through body language. Use gestures to represent emotions (sad, happy, bored, frustrated, etc.) without saying anything.
- Explain how varying the tone while saying a phrase can change its meaning. For instance, emphasize different words when you say, “I didn’t say you did it,” and tell your kid how it changed the meaning of the phrase.
Habit 6: They Synergize
Synergy involves combining good ideas and making them work better. It allows two people to work together and create a better solution that neither would have thought of alone. It can be referred to as “not your way or my way, but a better way.”
Like other habits above, the concept of synergy can be taught to children. The goal is to help them become good team players. However, it’s important not to confuse synergy with dependency. Your child should also be taught how to take the initiative and continue with the process on their own.
Synergy Activities for Kids
- Choose a problem and discuss it with your children, encouraging them to propose their own solutions. Make sure to describe the problem properly. Get their solutions and note them down, including the one you have thought of. Work with the kids to choose the best solution or combine all the ideas to create a better one.
- Create a 15-minute program during which you and all your kids drop everything and complete chores.
- If you have more than one kid, ask each to share a list of good habits of their siblings. Using these lists, work together to create a plan on how they can synergize on sports, homework, and chores. Perform the same activity using your child’s friends if they don’t have any siblings.
Habit 7: They Sharpen the Saw
“Sharpen the saw” is a specific term referring to creating balance in life. Its origin is a story of a man who was sawing a tree but wasn’t making any progress. When someone asked why he didn’t stop for a moment to sharpen the saw, he replied that he was too busy sawing the tree.
This story reminds us that productivity can be achieved only with balance. Your body, brain, and soul need time to relax in order to retain their ideal function.
Children’s Activities to Sharpen the Saw
- It would be ideal to dedicate a place in the home where children can spend their time engaging in unstructured activities. Fill this corner with puzzles, learning games, and storybooks.
- Take your kids outdoors to enjoy and appreciate nature. Outdoor activities have several benefits, such as reduced symptoms of depression, improved focus, and enhanced academic performance, all of which contribute to increased happiness.
Raising happy children with a sense of responsibility is a challenging goal that requires parents to be dedicated and focused. By nurturing the habits mentioned above, you can set your children up for a happy and prosperous future.