Happier children aren’t born, they are nurtured.
One of the most important yet challenging parental responsibilities is teaching them how to be happy!
This gift and attribute will not only cement a lasting connection between parent and child, but it will enable our child to look back on childhood with fondness and become the fully functioning adult we hope for – and in turn allow us to give ourselves a pat on the back for a job well done.
Happier Children – So how do we do it?
Well unless you’re an expert in attachment and had the perfect upbringing, there is probably some learning and unlearning we need as parents, here I will share my insight gained from working with children and young people over many years.
We all know that happiness is an emotion, a feeling, but we may underestimate the need to coach children at expressing and understanding emotions, if we’re somewhat emotionally lacking, then its a knocking bet that our children will unfortunately learn our ways too.
Happier Children – 4 ways to nurture your child emotionally:
Help your child understand their emotions every day.
Observe your child, help them to label emotions and feelings, encourage them to think what caused the feeling, the trigger or event. Its also a good idea to start sharing our own feelings and trigger events, being careful that our sharing is age appropriate. This encouragement and sharing will create an open-ness and a habit of sharing of emotions.
Read books which are emotionally expressive
Reading with your child and discussing the feelings and triggers in popular stories is a great way to teach children how to express feelings. Children’s story books are a great way to introduce emotions in a safe way. Here are some books which are great for toddlers.
Use TV and movies to help your child experience the array of emotions
Use the pause button and interact with your child during shows and movies, talking will be much more beneficial than just watching without interaction.
Try questions such as:
What do you think this person is feeling?
Have you ever felt like that?
What could make the person feel this way?
Teach your child Life Skills – they last forever!
To build Self Esteem, reduce anxiety and build Self Worth – Teach your child positive self-talk:
I can do this
I am going to be OK
I know how to cope
Everyone makes mistakes
I can ask for help
My family loves me
If your child becomes upset, teach them these strategies:
counting to ten
Asking for a hug
Listening to music
Using a stress ball
and encourage then to talk about how they are feeling
In addition to these tools, I have another easy to use therapeutic tool ‘Relationship Check-Ins‘ which create an easy space for exploring and expressing feelings and emotions, this is the secret to happy children and even happier adults. For more information on how to use this tool, contact me.
Paul Parkin – Online Counsellor
If you would like to discuss parenting or attachment or the effects your own parenting may have had on you, online counselling is a great safe way to explore.
Why Online Counselling?
- Online Counselling is now the most popular way of accessing professional counselling.
- It is easily accessible via Email, Messenger and Skype, from home or from anywhere you have an internet connection and its available via any mobile device too.
- Online Counselling is affordable and concessions are available if you are on a low income.
- Online counselling is hassle free, no travelling, no worrying if you will be seen entering a counsellors office. Book a session when it suits you.
- Not sure? – Why not give it a try, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
- Start living the life you want today! Online counselling changes lives for the better.