Happiness is the “Holy Grail” of parenting. While all of us want our kids to be happy and successful in life, we may not know exactly how to achieve this goal. Fortunately, the “science of happiness” can show us the way to teaching happiness.
Years of research have revealed certain habits and beliefs that make us happier, more creative, and more effective in everything we do. Rather than waiting and hoping that emotional well-being will descend from the heavens, we can show our children how to forge happy lives.
Since learning about this branch of psychology, I have been on a mission to share this knowledge with parents. I wrote a book, Teaching Happiness and Innovation, to help parents identify the habits of happiness and teach them to their kids. We are all thirsting for guidance in this department, and I hope that my efforts make a difference.
I’d like to give you seven ways to point your children towards lives of joy and meaning. These ideas come from my free 21-day “Happy Family” challenge. As is the case in other areas of life, practice makes perfect if you want to form the habits of happiness!
1. Write down the names of three people, places, or things you are grateful for. If you want to learn more about the importance of gratitude, please sign up for my email list. As a thank-you gift, you can download the “Gratitude” chapter from my book for free.
2. Spend some time in quiet prayer or meditation. Nurturing our spirituality is an important aspect of happiness.
3. We feel better when we are creative and thoughtful. Create and send a homemade card to Grandma, Grandpa, or another special person in your family’s life.
4. Challenge yourself to learn something new. Do you know the countries of Europe? If not, start learning them here.
5. Combine these five words to form a short story. If your story is hilarious and unrealistic, that’s just fine.
6. Think about a time when someone was kind to you. Give yourself a quiet space to reflect on this happy memory.
7. Bake cookies for a neighbor. When you deliver them, talk about the fun you’ve been having with the “Happy Family” challenge! Maybe your neighbor will enjoy the experience as well.###