Parenting is a tough gig, but you know you’re doing the right thing when your kids are happy. Although no child is happy 100 percent of the time, it’s important for parents to make it a priority to raise happy kids. Why? Because being happy doesn’t just give them happy memories to look back on but because it helps their brain develop. So how do you raise happy kids? What habits should they develop? 

Building friendships and relationships

Social skills are one of the most important skills kids need to learn while they’re young. They should learn how to relate to others and be able to build meaningful relationships. Do you spend time teaching your little one how to do this?

The truth is that it doesn’t take a lot for kids to learn how to make friends. It might be a little challenging for children who are shy but you can start by encouraging them to perform little acts of kindness. Allow them more opportunities to get along with other kids. Set up playdates during weekends or bring them to the park. Also, teach them about empathy. Read story books together and have a discussion about the characters so they learn how to put themselves in other people’s shoes.

Positive thinking

A person’s ability to think positively is closely linked to happiness because it gives them the push they need to rise above negative circumstances in life. Teach your little one about optimism. Let them understand that bad things happen but they always have a choice to look on the bright side of it all. Teach them that these things will come to pass and there’s always something good they can get out of the bad. Not only does positive thinking help your child become happier, but it will also help them better deal with anxiety and depression and become more successful in the future.

Being grateful

The attitude of gratitude can go a long way. Kids who know how to be grateful end up being happier than those who don’t. Teach your little one to appreciate what they have. Teach them how to be thankful even in small things, not only for the material stuff, but for the things that other people do for them. Encourage them to make a habit of saying “thank you”.

It’s also an excellent idea if you make it a family practice to take time to share what each member is thankful for. Perhaps you can do it during dinner. Let everyone say out loud what they’re happy about or share some good news.

Developing and practicing habitual gratitude makes one more optimistic. It helps them progress towards goals and have a better general feel of their lives as it fosters positive emotions.

Accepting responsibilities

One of the things that generally makes people happy is the knowledge that they are valued and appreciated by others. And one thing you can do to make your little one feel that is by giving them little responsibilities. They don’t have to be as huge as cleaning the house or doing the dishes. It can be as simple as putting away their toys or fixing their bed in the morning. The important message you’re conveying here is that your child is needed and that their contribution matters. So, it doesn’t matter how small the role is. What matters is they feel that they are doing something good and that they’re contributing to the family. Not only will this make them happy but it will also boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Accepting failure

Life isn’t all about winning and victory. There will always be defeat and that’s okay. This is also what your little one has to learn at an early age. While youngsters need to have a boost in their confidence, they should also be given opportunities to learn how to be resilient. Recognize their efforts and give credit when it is due. However, when they fail, be there for them and encourage them to get back up.

It’s a struggle to watch our kids deal with defeat. However, these things can teach them valuable lessons. Let them embrace failure with positivity by focusing on the skills and lessons they’ve learned. 

If there’s any goal every parent wants to achieve, it is to raise healthy and happy kids. And you, too, can make it happen with the help of these tips.

Need more parenting advice? Please feel free to visit Handprints Academy.