Ahaparenting.com suggests a few ways to teach children to be happy:
1. Teach self-management habits that create happiness, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and meditation.
2. Cultivate fun. The more you laugh, the happier you are. In fact, forcing a smile can actually make you happier too!
3. Teach mood management. Acknowledge a bad mood, feel the emotions, learn to let it go, and shift your mindset to a positive one.
4. Model positive self-talk. Happy people tend to give themselves ongoing reassurance, acknowledgment, praise, and pep talks.
5. Cultivate optimism. Some of us may be more pessimistic than others, but we can all cultivate an optimistic mindset.
6. Help them to find joy in everyday things. People who notice the small miracles of daily life, and allow themselves to be touched by them, are happier overall.
7. Support prioritizing relationships. People who are happier tend to have more people in their lives, with deeper relationships.
8. Help them to develop gratitude. People who try to consciously cultivate gratefulness are rated as happier by those who know them.
9. Counteract the idea that happiness can be bought!
10. Leave room for grief. Even the happiest person feels low. Acknowledge sad feelings - this deepens the ability to experience joy!
11. Help them to learn the joy of contribution. The pride of contributing to the betterment of society makes us happier while making a positive difference.
In turn, increased happiness has been connected to higher levels of success. Shawn Achor of The Happiness Advantage says, "When we are in a positive mindset, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient and productive at work.” This is because, contrary to what many believe, success does not breed happiness - in fact, the opposite is true. Happier people are more likely to be successful!
It's never too late to start creating positive habits. By making an effort to model, practice, and encourage these aspects in children, we can strengthen their mindsets, enhance their happiness, and help them to be successful in all aspects of life.
Take a minute to watch Shawn Achor's TEDTalk, "The Happy Secret to Better Work," to hear more about how happiness influences success.