How to raise happy kids for a loving family

If we go down to the basics, the answer is  – SIMPLE! Kids are just simple in their wants, needs and desires. They enjoy their family’s time and affection, giving and receiving love. The family plays and eats together and the kids would jump into their beds each night knowing that they are safe and loved. They are the happy kids.

When kids are not happy, they display it in many ways. Their behavior will change to become more withdrawn and secretive. The younger ones may suddenly start wetting their beds while the older kids are less or more verbally and physically communicative. These are signs of distress which we must be aware of and manage them well by being calm, compassionate and understanding.

More and more families are making the kid’s academic achievements a priority and through this preoccupation of achieving this “success”, kids are brought up to becoming less and less emotionally resilient. An effective parent is to nurture their kids to be independent, emotionally resilient with a strong moral and social compass.

Parents who want to raise happy kids must learn to be kind and loving but knowing when to set clear behavioural boundaries and consequences whether they are positive or negative. Developing social skills is a key predictor for success in later life and kids who thrive emotionally, socially and educationally through free play and friendships help to build emotional intelligence and protect against depression, anxiety and ill health.

How do we raise happy kids?

  1. Nurture your kid’s passions. Find out what makes them happy and encourage them to delve into it. My 12 year old girl loves to create objects from clay. I helped her to learn more that other than using clay, we could also use paper mache and how to make them. We surf the internet on ways to make the perfect paper mache consistency and it has helped me to understand her nature more.

  2. Develop a rhythm around family daily activities. When you make simple routines fun, kids never stop loving them and would enjoy repeating it as it makes them feel safe and cared for. Celebrate annual cultural events by sharing with them the purpose and meaning of such events. We have in our culture an annual celebration of making mochi balls in sweet soup to mark the end of the year and the start of another sweet new year. The family would gather to make the mochi balls and would compete to see who makes the roundest ball. Simple routine activities like reading and playing indoor games strengthen the family relationships.

  3. Never be afraid to display your feelings. Kids love cuddles, kisses and hugs as they give them a sense of warmth, love and safety. I would never fail to tuck in my kids to bed every night and giving them a tight hug and a kiss and a loving whisper “Mummy loves you”. The display of such feelings help to make kids happy and contented and strengthens their emotional intelligence.

  4. Encourage them to exercise. Physical exercises release endorphins making kids happy and a great stress reliever. It also helps them to develop a sense of positive body image and achievement. My kids love to play badminton and we always try to make it a week-end activity and they always look forward to it.

  5. Take part in a community project and encourage your kids to join in. Once a year my whole neighborhood would organize planting trees in our area to help “green” the world. We will explain to our kids the importance of harmonizing with Mother Nature and activities which can harm Mother Nature. The kids feel that they are part of a larger whole and how an individual act, no matter how small, can make can a huge positive impact on other’s lives.

  6. Teach your kids how to have fun while playing. We have a ball throwing game in our garden last week. We would make small balls from newspaper and would throw them at each other and we had such fun trying to dart from the balls, laughing when got “hit” and pretending to fall dead. These games are simple, cheap, fun and really builds a strong and harmonious relationship with the whole family. It also teaches the kids that we do not have to buy expensive toys to play fun games but with some creativity thrown in, we can have a ball of a great time.

Happy kids would grow up to live successful lives and being happy gives them a sense of self-worth and value, being part of a loving family and doing things to make other people happy.  


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