Ideas for Raising a Happy Child
Blogger Tom Hardy shares his recommendations for raising a happy child.
How happy is your child? Children’s emotional well being is a priority for all parents. Many parents aspire to provide their child with the keys to emotional well being: meeting their basic needs, providing a safe and secure home, and providing them with activities that will stimulate their mental development.
There are many ways that you can do this in your daily family life. Playtime and bedtime are two commonly scheduled activities. Of course, reading to children and playing with them makes them very happy. But it’s not only about fun and games; there are many more benefits for your kids. Raising happy kids takes hard work, but you can have fun too.
From a young age, there are many benefits associated with reading to your children and encouraging them to read themselves. Children’s picture books are designed to help children develop good language skills, and from a young age, you can assist your child to learn about the world through all kinds of books. Reading books together, and at bedtime, will help your child to develop a good vocabulary. Studies show that children who are read to from a young age are far more likely to continue reading into adulthood.
From a young age, children are far more sensitive to the world around them than many adults, but they also need to be taught to care about other people. Children are naturally self-centered – and not in a purposefully selfish way, – it’s just that their perspectives are limited to their subjective world view, and parents need to help them and teach them to look beyond their own concerns.
You could have a communal family toy-box – that is for all your children to share – and only let them take ownership of a few select personal toys. (eg. birthday gifts). If you feel you have too many toys, donating your child’s toys without discussing it with them and having their full agreement is never a good idea. In principle, you may think this is a charitable act, but children can be very attached to their physical world and will feel they are being punished if you threaten to donate their toys. Rather, consider teaching children to share among themselves, and in time, they may develop a practical sense of charity that allows the gesture to expand to others independently.
One of the nicest ways that you can teach your children to look past their own needs and to be more considerate is to adopt a family pet. Teaching your children to share the responsibility of taking care of a pet will help them to develop better compassion and empathy. Teaching your child empathy and compassion will set them on the path to becoming a caring person.
Learning compassion and empathy is also strongly influenced by the example that you set. Your children are learning from you: you are their strongest role model, and lead by example. Empathy can in this way develop over time, as they see you showing compassion and care to the people around you.
A happy child enjoys playtime! Modern lifestyles have robbed many families of precious hours in a day to spend together playing! Choose to spend quality time together, having fun, and playing. What could be nicer for your children than playing with Mom and Dad?
Children love to play all kinds of games. Think of physically active choices that involve the whole family, for example water games or racing games. If physical games are less easily adopted in your family, there are plenty of ways you can engage your sense of fun with art or the mind. Board games, drawing games and word games all allow families to bond and create memories together.
Children who are exposed to early reading, who learn to share, who learn to care for others, who are compassionate, and who are engaged in their family with participation and games, will be far happier children and adults, too. Have fun together – it’s good for the whole family!
Author Tom Hardy is the co-founder of the Toys Advisors blog. He has a lovely family with his wife Sophie, his son Quentin and his daughter Sarah. He spends most of his time with his family, learning and sharing about parenting, DIY. You can read another article by him here.