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choose HAPPY

choose HAPPY

It’s easier said than done. “Just choose to be happy.” Your toddler is having a meltdown every five minutes, you’re overwhelmed by the never-ending pile of laundry, or your child has a project due…tomorrow! Life can be stressful and we all go through our own moments of bumps in the road. It is so incredibly easy to be sucked into a negative mindset because of everything we juggle and go through on a daily basis. It’s much easier to take the punches and pout in a corner. However, science says that deciding to roll with the punches by choosing to be happy is very powerful not only to yourself but also for your family.

happier parents = happier kids In an article by Time Magazine, it outlined research that was conducted in a book titled Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps For More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents. Research shows that there is a link between parents with depression and their kids showing outbursts or signs of behavioral issues. So does this mean that unhappy parents equate to potentially raising unhappy kids with behavioral issues? Maybe so, according to research. The saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup – take care of yourself first”, can be applied to choosing happiness. Take care of yourself, and choose happiness within yourself first so that you may then take care of others, as well as spread and encourage a happy mindset.

cool it, tiger moms (& dads)

Some research is stating that the “perfectionist parent” may actually be causing more harm to their child then good. While it is important to push your child to do well, it’s important to know that every child is different and will pick things up at different paces. Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps For More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, “Parents who overemphasize achievement are more likely to have kids with high levels of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse compared to other kids.” So the suggestion is to praise your child’s effort, not their natural abilities. Praising children of their natural abilities could cause them to choose easier tasks or problems because they do not want to risk making a mistake and “lose their status of being smart. Research showed that more than 90% of growth-mind-set-encouraged children were more willing to reach for a harder puzzle, even if it meant they might fail at solving it. Choosing to praise a child’s effort versus natural abilities can make them happier and healthier in the long term.

teach optimism Want your child to look on the bright side and be happier even well into the teen and adult years? Then start teaching optimism while they are young. Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, “ten-year-olds who are taught how to think and interpret the world optimistically are half as prone to depression when they later go through puberty”. Optimism goes hand-in-hand with happiness so better to encourage an optimistic mindset early. Read our blog post, Make Your Own Sunshine, for more information on teaching your children to look on the bright side.

emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to manage and identify your own emotions. Instead of suppressing sadness or anger, allow yourself and your children to really feel that emotion. In an article by Aha! Parenting, it states “simply empathizing with her (your child’s) upset feelings will allow her to feel them, and will help the feelings start to evaporate so she can move on. This is not a process that can be rushed, so give your child (or yourself) whatever time you need.”

Being emotionally aware of the uncomfortable feelings will actually help to deepen the ability to allow joy into our lives. Raising children to be emotionally aware will just set them up for success in not being afraid of their emotions, which can later, in turn, heighten their overall feelings of happiness.

it’s contagious

Happiness is contagious and can easily be spread to others. I don’t know about you, but when I’m around a genuinely happy person, it’s kind of hard to continue to be down and in the dumps. Even for that brief moment with that happy person, I feel better and forget my worries and woes. Choosing to be happy can also affect another person’s day and will surely affect the people you’re around most. Think of the ripple effect that is created when your children grow up to also choose to have a happier mindset. That happiness is spread from generation to generation, as well as others they may come into contact with on a daily basis. You never know who can be positively affected by a smiling and happy face.

books to encourage a happy mindset

Teach your children the power of choosing happiness with these heartwarming stories. Through characters who learn to focus on the positives, overcome negativity, and find joy in everyday moments, these books inspire young readers to choose happiness, even in challenging times.

coloring fun

Please enjoy this free Tot Tails coloring page to help share this message with your child.

Download PDF • 129KB

share with us

We would love to hear your experiences and advice on empowering little ones to embrace the power of positivity, fostering a resilient, optimistic outlook on life. Are there any books or resources you feel can help? Thanks so much for reading and feel free to comment.


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