Happy Kids: Mission Impossible?

You’re familiar with the saying, “Happy wife, happy life,” but have you found the key to fostering that happiness?

According to a new survey, happy kids beget happy moms/wives which beget happy husbands/dads.

The equation seems simple enough until you factor in life’s discomforts, hardships and disappointments.

I’d love for my child to be happy 24/7.  What parent wouldn’t?  After all, nothing makes most moms and dads happier than to see their children in high spirits.

My own 8-year-old would love for her entire family to be happy every minute of every day and is visibly uncomfortable when that idealistic scenario isn’t realized.

According to childhood experts, my child is not alone in feeling this way.  Kids often react negatively when they discover they can’t control the outcome of every situation.  However, that doesn’t mean your son or daughter is doomed to a life of unhappiness. Rather, researchers say the key to a happy and successful life is resilience.  In other words, if you are able to teach your child to rebound in the face of difficulties, he or she will have a much better chance of becoming a happy adult.

My daughter is slowly learning that her entire day doesn’t have to end up in the dumpster if one little thing goes wrong in the morning.  We’ve been trying to reinforce the idea that life is a series of highs and lows, and as much as we love to celebrate the amazing parts, we also have to learn how to accept the bad parts too–without having a meltdown.

That’s where the mission impossible part comes in.

Fostering a positive outlook on life will serve your child well in the long run.  This is especially true once your kid enters school and comes into regular contact with other children whose behavior can greatly impact their feelings, and vice versa.  To avoid having a squabble with a classmate ruin your child’s entire day, teach him to resolve the situation by making amends with the other kid, reflect on the pain that was caused or experienced, think about ways to avoid such behavior in the future, and then move on.  Dwelling on the altercation will do nothing more than rob your child of contentment.  Once he has the tools to deal with a negative situation he should be better able to preserve his happiness… and yours.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.