Blog: My Unusual Road of Life....
by kerminator

Teach by example and fore thought!

Don't Try to Make Your Child Happy - it is not right and will often backfire in your face! Believe me I have seen it up close!

Date:   11/22/2021 2:14:34 AM   ( 6 mon ) ... viewed 246 times

** Don't Try to Make Your Children Happy

It sounds counterintuitive, but the best thing you can do for your child's long-term happiness may be to stop trying to keep them happy in the short-term. "If we put our kids in a bubble and grant them their every wish and desire, that is what they grow to expect, but the real world doesn't work that way," says Bonnie Harris, founder of Core Parenting, in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and author of When Your Kids Push Your Buttons: And What You Can Do About It.

To keep from over coddling, recognize that you are not responsible for your child's happiness, Harris urges. Parents who feel responsible for their kids' emotions have great difficulty allowing them to experience anger, sadness, or frustration. We swoop in immediately to give them whatever we think will bring a smile or to solve whatever is causing them distress.

Unfortunately, Harris warns, children who never learn to deal with negative emotions are in danger of being crushed by them as adolescents and adults. {Which is what happened in my family - generating a system of grief and sorrow to the point of making them criminals!}

Once you accept that you can't make your child feel happiness (or any other emotion for that matter), you'll be less inclined to try to "fix" her feelings—and more likely to step back and allow her to develop the coping skills and resilience she'll need to bounce back from life's inevitable setbacks.

* Nurture Your Happiness

While we can't control our children's happiness, we are responsible for our own. And because children absorb everything from us, our moods matter. Happy parents are likely to have happy kids, while children of depressed parents suffer twice the average rate of depression, Murray observes.

Consequently, one of the best things you can do for your child's emotional well-being is to attend to yours: carve out time for rest, relaxation, and, perhaps most important, romance.

** {Other wise the parent or provider, will become over whelmed and become none effective!

Nurture your relationship with your spouse. "If parents have a really good, committed relationship," Murray says, "the child's happiness often naturally follows."
Praise the Right Stuff

Not surprisingly, studies consistently link self-esteem and happiness. Our children can't have one without the other. It's something we know intuitively, and it turns many of us into overzealous cheerleaders.

Our child scribbles and we declare him a Picasso, scores a goal and he's the next Beckham, adds 1 and 2 and he's ready for Mensa. But this sort of "achievement praise" can backfire.

** RELATED: How to Praise Your Kids

"The danger, if this is the only kind of praise a child hears, is that he'll think he needs to achieve to win your approval," Murray explains. "He'll become afraid that if he doesn't succeed, he'll fall off the pedestal and his parents won't love him anymore."

{Making super achievements a priority can kill or damage developing minds! Each of us should learn how to find, use and place achievements in their proper place to build quality and developed better ways of understanding!}

Praising specific traits—intelligence, prettiness, athleticism—can also undermine children's confidence later, if they grow up believing they're valued for something that's out of their control and potentially fleeting.

"If you praise your child primarily for being pretty, for example, what happens when she grows old and loses that beauty?" Murray asks. "How many facials will it take for her to feel worthwhile?"

Interestingly, Murray adds, research shows that kids who are praised mainly for being bright become intellectually timid, fearing that they will be seen as less smart—and less valuable—if they fail.

** {This is one of the dangers of always using praise to prompt the child or an underling!}

The antidote, however, is not to withhold praise but rather to redirect it, Murray says. "Praise the effort rather than the result," he advises. "Praise the creativity, the hard work, the persistence, that goes into achieving, more than the achievement itself."

The goal, Carter agrees, is to foster in your child a "growth mind-set," or the belief that people achieve through hard work and practice, more than through innate talent. "Kids who are labeled as having innate talent feel they need to prove themselves again and again," Carter observes. "Whereas studies show kids with a growth mind-set do better and enjoy their activities more because they aren't worried what people will think of them if they fail."

Fortunately, Carter says, research has shown it's possible to instill a growth mind-set in children with one simple line of praise: you did really well on X; you must have worked really hard.
"So we're not saying don't praise," Carter stresses. "Just focus on something within your child's control."
Allow for Success and Failure.

** {Children just like our selves must learn that failure is a key part of doing anything in this life! Like it or not!}

Of course, if you really want to bolster your child's self-esteem, focus less on compliments and more on providing her with ample opportunities to learn new skills. Mastery, not praise, is the real self-esteem builder, Dr. Hallowell says.

Fortunately, when it comes to the under-4 crowd, nearly everything they do is a chance to attain mastery—because it's all new to them: learning to crawl, walk, feed and dress themselves, use the potty, and ride a tricycle. Our challenge is to stand back and let our children do for themselves what they're capable of.

"The greatest mistake good parents make is doing too much for their children," Dr. Hallowell says.

While it can be difficult to watch our kids struggle, they'll never know the thrill of mastery unless we allow them to risk failure. Few skills are perfected on a first try. It's through practice that children achieve mastery. And through repeated experiences of mastery, they develop the can-do attitude that lets them approach future challenges with the zest and optimism that are central to a happy life.

*{Give Real Responsibilities!}

"Happiness depends largely on the feeling that what we do matters and is valued by others," Murray observes. "Without that feeling, we fear we might be excluded from the group. And research shows that what human beings fear more than anything is exclusion."

In other words, people have an innate need to be needed. So the more you can convey to your child that he is making a unique contribution to the family, from an early age, the greater his sense of self-worth and his ultimate happiness. Kids as young as 3 can play meaningful family roles, Murray says, whether it's refilling the cat's dry-food bowl or setting out the napkins at dinnertime. If possible, assign a role that plays to your child's strengths.

For example, if your little one loves to organize things, give him the job of sorting the forks and spoons. If he's particularly nurturing, perhaps his role could be entertaining his baby sister while you get dinner on the table. So long as you acknowledge that he's making a contribution to the family, it will heighten your child's sense of connection and confidence, two prerequisites for lasting happiness.
Practice Habitual Gratitude

Finally, happiness studies consistently link feelings of gratitude to emotional well-being. Research at the University of California, Davis, and elsewhere has shown that people who keep daily or weekly gratitude journals feel more optimistic, make more progress toward goals, and feel better about their lives overall. For a child, keeping a journal may be unrealistic.

But one way to foster gratitude in children is to ask that each member of the family take time daily—before or during a meal, for example—to name aloud something he or she is thankful for, Carter suggests. The important thing is to make it a regular ritual. "This is one habit that will foster all kinds of positive emotions," she assures, "and it really can lead to lasting happiness."

By Marguerite Lamb

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