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How to raise a happy child
13.Mar.2016

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Is my child happy?

There’s the million dollar question! What if the answer is “NO?” Is there something you can do about it? One thing is for sure; happiness cannot be bought or wrapped in a present to be given on a birthday. Showering children with toys is also not the right way to make a child happy. Experts say this will get in the way of a child’s longtime happiness denying them the chance to develop certain important tools.

The good news is you don’t have to be an expert in child psychology to steer your child toward happiness. Here are eight key strategies you can use to raise a happy child.

Learn to read the signs

As your child matures, he’ll become a pro at showing you when something makes him content or upset. His face lights up when you enter the room or he wails when someone takes away his favorite toy.

But if your baby is crying, how do you know if he’s in pain, hungry, or just bored? “A mother will learn to pick up on different kinds of cries and facial expressions,” says Paul C. Holinger, professor of psychiatry at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago. “The eyebrows, the mouth, and vocalizations are all signaling systems for the baby.” And mothers know the language! Experts say that young infants don’t really feel happy when they look happy. The good news is they’re not emotionally aware when they’re screaming either. Experts explain that the “cortical emotion centers” of your baby’s brain don’t begin to function until they are 6 to 8 months old, when they start to feel the emotions that seem so vivid on their faces.

Your baby probably has his own ways of showing you when he’s not content. Some babies may cry, while others become clingy. As you get to know your own child’s temperament, you’ll become better at learning the signs that something’s not right in his world.

Make room for fun

Your baby might smile at a favorite toy or a colorful picture, but what really makes her happy is YOU. That’s the first step to creating a happy child. Connect with your child and have fun with her. This is called the “connected childhood” which is a crucial element to guide your child toward happiness in the long run.

Your child will develop essential skills through play. As she gets older, unstructured play will allow her to discover what she loves to do. Play doesn’t only mean music class, organized sports, and other structured “enriching” activities. Play is when children invent, create and daydream.

Help them develop their talents

Happy people are often those who have mastered a skill! Have you heard that before? For example, when your baby figures out how to get the spoon into his mouth or takes those first shaky steps by himself, he learns from his mistakes. He learns persistence and discipline, and then experiences the joy of succeeding due to his own efforts.

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