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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Create Happy and Resilient Well-Being Kids


By Sandra Anderson, RM., KT., LUT, Life & Soul Coach


Our happiness and well-being is learned. Raising happy and resilient children is certainly not easy in this fast-paced, tech-filled world. Most parents or grandparents want their children or grandchildren to have a perfect, happy life. But there will be moments when kids feel sad and lost and we have no control over those instances. We can, however, inspire our kids to be persistent and find their own personal definition of happy.

There are decades of studies and research on “happiness” and how to get it or make it. Tips are plentiful… just ask Google (or Grandma) how to do it. Research into “the science of happiness” has identified several habits that help make happiness a likely outcome for kids. Here is a handful of tips to help create happier and more resilient kids (and adults too!):

1. Attitude of gratitude. Gratitude feeds our soul and makes us happier and healthier. Encourage kids to share what they are grateful. Even someone who is in the “crabby pants” stage can get better at gratitude with practice. Have them create their own gratitude wall with Post-it notes, or use a journal to write or draw a picture of two things that make them grateful. With practice, this becomes a reminder of the good things in life, and gratitude will start to grow.


2. Screens are dessert. To have healthy and happy kids, research has

shown that excessive screen time leads to an unsettledness and a less focused brain. Think of the connection of diet and health. Is it OK to feed children cookies, soda or ice cream all the time? Ahh…no! Let’s think about iPad time as dessert. Inspire them to have a healthy balance of outside time, reading, problem solving, fun card games or puzzles, and telling jokes. Practice those belly laughs.


3. Practice kindness. Kindness is a muscle. With practicing kindness, our happiness and the quality of social connections improves. You and the kids can help out a neighbor or bake cookies for a friend. Kids (especially the younger ones) love to be kitchen staff. They will return again and again, especially if they can be the quality control sampler. Catch them at being kind and saying “please,” “thank you,” and “I am sorry.” “Resilience is based on compassion for ourselves as well as compassion for others.” - Sharon Salzberg.

4. Feed their creativity. Those who spend time and have time to create tend to be happier and less stressed. Encourage them to create their own story book of pictures, take a turn at planning dinner, or teach them how to do their laundry. Don’t forget building forts or play spaces in fun spots.


5. Be curious. Find something new to learn. We’re happier when we are learning something new and learning to grow as people. As we learn more, we become more creative. Pick a country or favorite state to learn about. Have your kids plan a trip. Write a cook book of new food they like. Go on a scavenger hike looking for certain animals or plants.

Now you can take these few tips and add your own to help create happy, resilient and well-being kids by being involved in the process. “As grandparents of four, ages 3.5 to 13 years, we had a chance to practice and have a positive experience using a number of these. Of course, we also heard the parents share: Chew with your mouth closed. Be realistic it is not all dessert.” - S. Anderson

Sandra Anderson with Intentions - Life and Soul Coach, Integrative Energetic Healer Spiritual Guide, Speaker.


Resources:

• Mike Ferry - happinessandinnovation.com

• The Australian Parenting Website:

raisingchildren.net.au

• “71 Resilience Quotes Every Parent Needs to Raise Strong Kids” - lifewithkids.cuterascals.com/resilience-quotes

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