How to Raise Happy Kids? 7 Ways to Make Your Child Happy
Created by Anurima Updated on Apr 26, 2020
"Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions." --- Dalai Lama XIV
When I became a mother, little did I know how stressful and exhausting parenting would be! Living away from family, in a different country with very little support in raising the children and with the daily chores has gradually turned us into grumpy grownups! Now with my second child entering toddlerhood is making me realize as to how challenging parenting can get. It is a challenge faced by all parents irrespective of whether they stay at home or work full time. The guilt of not being able to do enough for your child, to always wonder if your child is happy, constantly strive to do more than you can without really understanding if what you are doing is the right thing for the family are thoughts perhaps each parent goes through. The stress of having to juggle all aspects of everyday life can easily affect our children in little ways at times.
As the saying goes Better Late than Never- there are ways to make a difference in day to day situations; to avoid the stress from affecting our children; ways to get out of the unhappy frame of mind.
What are the situations which lead to parent's stress being passed on to a child?
- Work-related stress
- Worrying, Frustration & Anger
- Children's actions or behaviors
The list can go on. The situation greatly varies from household to household and on an individual basis. Children can read our faces and our body language and instantly they understand if we are upset. My 4-year-old tells me that she knows when I am not happy as that is the time I do not want to spend time with her; that in those times I either ask her to find something to play with or watch cartoons. It was not easy for me to realize how easily a child can read our moods even when we think we are hiding it from them!
According to research done in the USA, children showed signs of being sad, frustrated, worried, and reported stress-related headaches and stomach aches just by seeing their parents stressed or angry.
Snap out of it and get happy!
Happiness is like a bug that spreads easily and it is a bug we would like our children to catch!
Ways to Make Your Child Happy
Here are a few simple ways to make your child happy. Read here...
1. Spend Time Together: Head for the outdoors, to the playground; or let them explore nature. For children anything is a plaything be it pebbles, twigs, mud, and just about anything; let them water the plants while you watch or participate in a game with them, play hide and seek. Spending time with your child will help you bond together, will let them have wonderful memories, and will certainly make them happy!
2. Talk, Share, Express, and Listen: Communication is the key to any happy relationship. Talk to your child, tell her stories, encourage him to share stories, talk about their emotions, and make sure you listen. Become your child's friend.
3. Let them make their choices: Let them pick their clothes for an outing, choose what they would like to have for dinner, watch a movie of their choice or go to a place where they would like to! Give them the opportunity to make some decisions and watch the priceless smiles on their faces.
4. Become a child: Children love it when parents behave like one of them. My kids are really happy when I jump, play, and roll with them on the bed; when I tickle them and let them tickle me; when I play with them and make a mess; when I make faces or laugh out loud at their jokes. So go on, become a child once in a while.
5. Go easy on the rules: Rules are good; they give us a feeling of being in control. Children know that they need to follow the rules even though they may not like it. So once in a while, let them play with water (they can be changed and dried later); let them cook (I give my kids a handful of uncooked lentils, some uncooked vegetables and a little water in a pan. They pretend to cook all the while making a mess). A little bit of untidiness and mess is worthwhile if your children are having fun.
6. Praise, Encourage and Appreciate: Children love to go out of their way to do things that grownups do. Hand them a piece of cloth to wipe a dirty area; let them set the dinner table and clear up after mealtime; let them fold and store their own clothes or involve them in any other small chore. Encourage and praise them when they are doing the chore and once done appreciate the good work and thank them for their help. This helps in boosting their confidence and inculcates a sense of responsibility and good values.
7. Unconditional Love: Children like to experiment with things, some of which may not be appropriate. For instance, all children love to jump on the bed or the sofa in spite of us telling them not to. Helping them understand the reasons for not doing something calmly instead of shouting or punishing them, will help them to be more open to listening to you. Children need to feel that they have complete love and support from their parents. This will encourage them to take healthy risks, understand that people make mistakes, and mistakes can be corrected. Making mistakes and learning from them is perhaps vital for their growth and development.
Handy Tips for Parents in Times of Stress, Anxiety
- As a parent, we need to realize that it is ok to experience negative emotions.
- Make sure your child is in a safe place and then leave the room for a few minutes to cool down.
- Inhaling and exhaling slowly while counting from 1 to 10 greatly helps in reducing any anxiety and putting things in perspective. :)
- Relax- play music, take a shower, make a refreshing drink or anything which helps you relax.
- Speak to another adult and express what you are feeling.
- Sometimes you will need to just snap out of the negative frame of mind for the sake of your child.
- Be aware of your body language- have a relaxed one instead of a tensed and an angry demenour.
- Realize that it is important to control frustration and anger to have a happy family and most importantly to make your child happy- something which goes on to reflect on their personalities.
Here is a little compilation from my experience. Please feel free to share your thoughts, experiences and reflections in the comments area below.
"Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles not tears."
--- John Lennon
| Oct 22, 2013
Dear Anu, we can also play batminton or any other like with the children one thing is we must work harder than them to win us in such games. They would understand two things from this. First one is they will realize a Quote "try try try... until you succeed. " Then second is they will feel you as their first friend. - Jayashree.
| Jul 11, 2014
A very nice article.... i m a short tempered mom & often lose my patience..... i always want to b my son's best friend .... but unable to do so due to my temper..... all the points u hv mentioned are absolutely correct... hope i will too try to change.... it was a great feeling after reading ur article.... thnx again...
| Feb 06, 2015
Thanks Anurima. I too make the same mistakes and yes they can understand. One thing I would like to know. My daughter and myself play games. She likes Business and chess. But chess she does not know how to play. I want to know whether I should defeat her or not. She gets upset when I take any of her pawns... We haven't completed a game yet...
| Feb 26, 2015
Hi Aniruma A good article indeed. Well just wanted to know with all these tips if things are still not in control then how to handle the situation. Trying to explain simply do not work.... leads to anger n frustration. Please suggest /comment. Thanks in advance.... Anitha
| Aug 07, 2015
This is really helpful as all these things happen with me these days I am running with all these situations... Where I misbehaved with my baby..... And when I realized I cried and felt very bad and also thought is it me only who do so but now I know there are many parents who also suffered same situation......... This article helped me lot to understand and will keep in mind. Thanx
| Sep 02, 2015
Dear anurima,lovely article.. I have two kids,my daughter is 4 and a half years old and son is 1and a half. whenever I have an argument with my husband or anything. i take it out on my daughter. thou,she is very caring herself m emotional too. i even scream my lungs out when I tell her not to do something and she does. i have realised that now she hides things from us thinking we wouls get angry. please advise how can I change myself as I know it's gonna leave bad impact on her. she was a very happy child before. Hope whoever reads this,can help me in their own way! Thanks alot
| Sep 03, 2015
Hi Ujala. I completely understand what you are saying. Any little stress we have, comes out on our children, on especially the older one. We are humans after all :) I also do the same and later regret having shouted for things which are not their fault. I would suggest you try the handy tips as mentioned in the last part of the blog. Those are tried and tested ways to help us parents deal with the stress without having to take them out on our children. Good luck Ujala :)
| Sep 04, 2015
Dear Madhura, one good way to handle tantrums is to ignore it completely. You may go about your business when your child has a meltdown at home. If at a public place, take him to a quiet corner and give him time to let it out. Try not to talk, shout or even reason with him. You may sit calmly looking away or looking at a brochure/book anything you may have handy. Once your child realizes he/she is not getting the attention, he/she will stop. Try not to give him or console him. This will make things more difficult in the future.