Keep life simple, and may the wonder and awe of little things bring constant joy!
If your child seems miserable, before you question their happiness, refer to this checklist;
- Is routine good?
- Is their diet balanced?
- Could they be growing?
- Could they be unwell?
- Could your child be worried about something?
Routine – Do they have routine, an appropriate bed time, meal time etc.
Diet – Do they have a balanced diet of protein, vegetables, fruit, carbohydrates and water? Are those fizzy drinks and processed foods minimal?
Growing moods – My boys have growth spurts/testosterone surges that affect their moods, however never last that long. I gently explain to them about how growing can affect how you feel, and that it is normal!
Unwell – Sometimes children can feel unwell, but it is not very noticeable to us (no temperature or other symptoms), check to see if there is a change in their appetite or energy levels.
Bottled worry – Does your child have the chance to share their worries? To talk to you about stuff, can be a huge release, making them feel safe and happy. (Remember, when you are sharing worries with friends or your partner, never assume your children are not listening, they are listening, and depending on the child, they could take those worries on board too!)
In my household, the things that make our children happy are;
- When we are all silly together! Children love it when adults can come down to their level, and see the joy of being silly sometimes!!!!!
- When we (Mum and Dad) are the audience for a puppet show or dance/sing performance. My boys find it difficult to perform in front of others, however they are comfortable enough to perform in front of us, which can only enrich their self confidence and self concept!
- When we play a game their way, together! Forget the rules, enjoy the sunshine and just being together!
- Sharing funny stories. (they love listening to me telling them stories from my childhood)
- Praising and acknowledging them with genuine affection.(Watch your children glow, when they wake up in the morning and you suddenly proclaim excitedly that they have grown another inch! Kids love knowing they are getting bigger and older!)
- Making choices. A choice could be as simple as choosing the type of pasta you are cooking for dinner that night, or choosing the cookies from the jar for their recess/play lunch etc. In regards to choosing clothes, I allow my boys to choose however I choose the clothes for them to select from. In this way I still have control over what they wear. It works very well in my house!
- Learning and discovering new things! Help keep the wonder and awe alive in their world, by allowing them to interact with new experiences, nature, friends…etc. The things we generally take for granted, can be the things that can actually inspire children! (How many times have you looked up at the clouds, and searched for cloud images?)
- When Mum and Dad are happy! You will be surprised how many emotions children show, often reflect how we are feeling ourselves! It’s time to spread some happiness, beginning with YOU!