A research of the Istituto Superiore della Sanità, just published, has tried to probe the lifestyles of 14 thousand Italian mothers to discover the golden rules for raising children in good health. Health experts, in particular, were amazed by two data that have come out of the research: most mothers never read anything, in the evening, aloud to their children, not even a short fairy tale; and only a minority breastfeed.
We all want our children to always be happy, in a good mood. But we forget that the mood, does not only affect mature people, but also the younger age. And we underestimate some gestures, even simple ones, that can give more serenity and joy to our children.
TEACHING HAPPINESS TO CHILDREN
Teaching happiness as a rule of life, to feel good, be at peace with themselves without frustrations and regrets. In some schools in northern Europe, happiness has become a subject of study, even at University. We think that children are happy only for being children, but even childhood has its own fears. So we should not waste the chance to make our children happy.
HOW TO MAKE A CHILD HAPPY
Here are 10 tips to convey happiness to them as the founding value of life :
1 Read to children: since they are very young, read bedtime stories to them, the classic fairy tales that teach them that there is always a remedy in life, there is always a way to get out of bad situations on humility and sweetness. Besides being an “educational” moment it is also a very intimate moment between parents and children and it is a good habit to cultivate.
2 Apologise: when you’re wrong you have to apologise. Just this simple word, sometimes, can make the children return to be calm after having committed a little mishap. And when we adults are wrong, we should set a good example.
3 Education and good manners: always say please and thank you. Being kind to others is a way to feel good, to be happy to behave with everyone in a polite manner. Kindness is an important value to be passed on to our children.
4 Smiling: Very often, as parents, we are overcome by many problems and we do not always smile. Instead you have to teach children the value of a smile. It is as contagious as a yawn and does not cost anything, develops endorphins and makes us feel good. Let’s play with them, let’s spend some time with them. Without tablet, smartphone, television.
5 Do not judge: In front of children it is important to always have a good word for people. We should not judge behaviour in a negative way, we should not use sarcasm or irony and we should always try to explain the reasons behind a gesture that seems incomprehensible to them. The reproach of a teacher, the attitude of the soccer referee and etc. If we teach children to respect the opinions of others, they will feel more aware and happy and will not live the judgment of others as a defeat but as an enrichment.
6 Nothing is forever: there are very beautiful moments and but also less beautiful ones. But we must not get knocked down for this reason. Nothing lasts forever: it is good to teach children that everything has a beginning and an end. They will be able to fully enjoy every situation in life, without regretting when a holiday ends or when they have taken a bad mark. Everything can be recovered.
7 Explaining and not punishing: Today’s parents are children of the years when parents were feared. Above all the fathers. Today, the “traditional” family no longer exists. Mothers, often, are not housewives and work; grandparents, in turn, still work. There are extended and single-parent families. The dialogue and the explanation behind a gesture, a word, a behaviour, whether good or not, on the level of happiness on the part of the parent and the child, always pays. It would be simpler to give the classic punishment. But then the parent would feel guilty and the child unhappy. So it is worth while sitting down and talking.
8 Praise and not belittle: we do not assume that our children behave well. It is right to reproach them when they are wrong and, in the same way, it is right to praise them when they are doing well.
9 Nobody is better than others: we teach our children that they are not better or worse than others. That everyone has their merits and faults. In terms of self-esteem we will help them feel better.
10 Being honest: in a world populated by cunning and overbearing people, we teach our children to be honest with themselves and with others. This will help them to feel happier because they will know that the results achieved are not the result of scam but of their commitment and their effort.