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Raising Happy Children

By Jamell Andrews

Raising happy children does not have anything to do with the material possessions that you give to them. Regardless of how many toys kids have or how much you try to shield them from the harsher aspects of life, the ability of children to be happy as they grow up is largely based on internal factors.

Signs of Unhappiness

One of the primary keys to making sure your children are happy is to know how to spot the signs of distress, particularly among children who are under the age of five. Unhappy children typically display some similar behaviors.

  • Quiet and withdrawn
  • Does not eat very much
  • Is not getting involved with other children
  • Is not laughing or smiling as much as usual
  • Does not want to play
  • Is not talking much

Of course, some children may exhibit some of these behaviors (such as being quiet or withdrawn) simply because they are shy. Shyness is certainly not an indicator that children are unhappy, and it is nothing to be concerned about in itself. However, it is much more difficult to spot or interpret the warning signs that may be present in shy children, so it requires a bit more effort from parents in order to ensure that their children are happy.

With shy children, it is important to take note of certain behavioral changes, such as becoming more fearful or isolated, so that you will realize right away if your child is unhappy.

Did you know that angry toddlers are really displaying unhappiness in the only way they know how? Toddlers are too young to know how to express the fact that they are unhappy about something, so when they feel this way they respond with anger. Kids who throw their toys, have temper tantrums, or who hit their siblings are really distressed and they are expressing it in the most convenient way for them.

Keeping your Kids Happy

There really is no big secret to accomplishing this. Kids respond best when their parents spend time with them and play with them. For children who are under the age of five, the best thing parents can do is make time for fun activities. These do not have to be arranged activities such as play dates or organized sports. In fact, younger children are happiest when they get to spend time with their parents playing with blocks, coloring, or whatever takes their fancy at home.

Try to avoid pushing your kids into participating in any type of activities, as this can have a detrimental effect on them as they grow up. Children need to learn at an early age that they can become anything they want to be and that they are free to choose activities they enjoy. If you help your kids focus on the things they most enjoy doing, it will go a long way towards ensuring that they grow up to be happy adults who are more likely to find careers that they have a true passion for.

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