11 Secrets From Parents Who Raised Happy Children

Have you noticed how parenting has changed since we were kids ourselves? But no matter what modern methods are, every parent wants their children to become happy and successful adults.

We at Bright Side discovered what parents of truly happy kids have in common.

Modern parents have very busy schedules. When they feel tired, the easiest way to keep their children busy is to turn on the TV. But there are activities that both you and your child will find equally interesting. Children will forget what you buy for them, but they’ll never forget how you spent time together.

For example, it’s proven that a warm relationship with the father affects the ability to build intimate and happy relationships in adulthood.

Scientists have concluded that regular family meals are directly connected with lower rates of depression and suicidal thoughts among teens.

Children who enjoy frequent family meals also have a more positive outlook on life compared to their peers who don’t eat dinner with their families. Sharing a meal is a great opportunity to become closer with children. Just don’t forget to turn off the TV.

It’s important to teach children to take care of others and to be grateful to those who contribute to their lives. Studies show that people who are used to expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, compassionate, and forgiving. Plus, they feel happier and healthier.

Constant control can lead to a destructive relationship in the future. Trust your child, and let them make their own decisions. Start with small things: let them choose what to wear or what to eat for breakfast. Thus, your child gradually becomes independent and understands what he or she really wants from life. Listen carefully if your child has decided to share their problems with you, and help them make the best choice.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University studied 700 children until they were 25 years old. It turned out that sociable kindergarteners who collaborated with their peers were much more likely to go to college and have a full-time job.

Those who had problems developing communication skills committed crimes and drank alcohol more often.

Studies concluded that a mother’s feelings and emotional state directly affect her family members. The same rule applies to negative emotions. Emotionally stressed parents unwillingly make their little ones feel the same way.

Kids learn about care and respect when they’re treated that way. When they feel their parents’ love, they become attached to them. That attachment makes them able to value things and learn faster. Spend more quality time with your children: read together before bed, talk to them, and listen whenever they share their problems with you.

Spanking never works when it comes to kids’ behavior. Instead, children try to come up with new ways of avoiding the punishment. Such children turn into spoiled liars who get their way no matter what. On the contrary, children who have never experienced emotional violence are less depressed, tend to control their emotions better, and have a good memory.

In the 1960s, a study from the University of California showed that there are 3 main types of child-rearing: permissive, authoritarian, and authoritative. Parents of happy kids often choose the third one: their children respect adults but don’t “suffocate” because of their authority.

In order for our children to respect and trust us, we must acknowledge our own mistakes and flaws. We need to be honest but fair and respect their points of view. However, it doesn’t mean being perfect all the time.

Children, just like adults, think of success in 2 different ways:

  • A fixed mindset assumes that character, intelligence, and creativity can never be changed. The only way to achieve success is to avoid failure at any cost.
  • A growth mindset, on the contrary, considers failure to be an opportunity to show one’s skills and abilities.

To encourage your kids to develop a growth mindset, never say that they succeed only because of their natural abilities. Evaluate their efforts instead.

Unfortunately, children are not born with the ability to control their feelings. They need our help to learn how to do it. It’ll protect their future relationships from anger, envy, and other negative feelings.

Try to help your child understand their own feelings, and teach them to speak about them. Show them a simple trick to deal with overwhelming emotions: you need to stop for a second, take a deep breath using your nose, exhale through your mouth, and count to 5.

Preview photo credit Kristina Pimenova
Illustrator Ksenia Shvedova for BrightSide.me

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