We all wonder what it takes to raise a healthy and happy adult. These days, more and more adults are diagnosed with depression, anxiety and difficulties dealing with stress. Most of us often have unhealthy habits, problems making friends and cherishing long-lasting relationships, and even regulating our emotions. So, how do we cure this? Well, look at your child.
Happy Kids Have Receptive Parents
Our early childhood relationships will shape the attachment type we will have in relationships later in adulthood. Children are extremely receptive to the kind of response we, as parents, have to their emotions. If we ignore their needs or remain cold and distant, the child may develop an avoidant attachment type later in life, where they have difficulties expressing their emotions and tend to avoid them.
On the other hand, giving them mixed reactions, sometimes being too reactive and sometimes distant, may lead to anxious attachment, where the person has low self-esteem and is very needy in relationships. Good parents are those that are warm and responsive, and most importantly – consistent. Your child has to feel safe next to you.
Happy Kids are Taught to Deal With Emotions
Being a receptive parent means also being supportive of your child. Studies have shown that children whose parents didn’t ignore or negate their emotions grew up to be happier adults. Studies have also shown that children who had been taught to self-regulate their negative emotions and look at the brighter side of things were more capable of dealing with negative emotions later in life and even fight depression much more successfully.
Happy Kids Live in Happy Families
It’s that simple – happy kids come from happy homes. Children thrive in harmonious households. That means that every family member is accepted for who they are and is validated by other members.
This also means that all members know how to resolve conflict in an effective and healthy way. Additionally, in happy families, closeness and mutual support are encouraged, especially among siblings, who often have a strong bond and know each other very well.
Happy Kids Have Good Role Models
Children are like sponges. Their entire worldview is shaped by their parents, especially at a younger age. Children may imprint on any social values their parents have and internalize them as their own. Parents who have adopted positive beliefs and behaviors are more likely to have a happy child.
Some of these beliefs are pro-social and family values over materialism, and having a healthy work-life balance. Also, the child may mimic the parents’ response to adversity and how they deal with negative emotions.
Happy Kids are Supported
Happy children are encouraged to feel self-confident and secure in their own actions, beliefs and capabilities. Parents can encourage confidence in a child by helping them become proficient in tasks that align with the child’s interests.
Children who feel capable will grow up to become confident adults. Also, don’t make the mistake of only praising the end result of an action your child performs. You want to help your child develop intrinsic motivation, so it is most important to praise the effort put into a task, not their talent or ability.
Photo by Yulianto Poitier: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-and-three-children-playing-water-1231365/
Happy Kids are Independent
Speaking of self-sufficiency, a happy child feels confident even without their parents nearby. You can motivate your child to take action by letting them participate in fun activities outside of home. Placing your child in unfamiliar situations but providing a good enough support system will make your child more open to new experiences and even more courageous.
A good childcare center will provide your child with such stimulus from an early age. If you are near Melbourne, we recommend a center with the best child care in Ballarat. Here your child will be surrounded by new experiences every day, but with a proper support system from caretakers and friends that they won’t feel any stress.
Happy Kids are Not Punished Often
Speaking of confidence, nothing undermines it more than a parent who betrays their child’s trust. Believe it or not, if your child does something wrong, and your punishment exceeds the crime, it may severely harm your relationship with your child.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t discipline your child when they’ve done something bad, but punishing your child too often may develop resentment towards authority and depression in your child.
Happy Kids Exercise Regularly
Last but not least, a healthy child is also physically healthy. Encourage your child to play sports and be outside with friends as much as possible. Regular exercise boosts your child’s mood, which in turn makes them less likely to throw tantrums and be negative. Also, being surrounded by friends while playing sports will help them develop teamwork and self-confidence.
The saying is true – it truly takes a village to raise a child. A happy child needs a harmonious family, a well-established support system full of role models, kindness and understanding from others, and enough opportunity to develop their skills. It may not be easy, but with enough effort, we can ensure that the next generations will have a happier adulthood than we did.
Author bio: Brigitte Evans is an experienced lifestyle blogger with a passion for design, culture, and storytelling. She’s a regular writer and contributor to numerous lifestyle blogs and online magazines. She also loves to travel and strives to visit as many states and countries as she can.