Happiness can be defined as “a state of being contented and satisfied with life”. As adults, many still search for this elusive state where we believe all our needs are fulfilled. The question is, “Can all our needs be completely satisfied?”
The answer to that question can only be answered by us. Many may comment how “happy we ought to be” while some others may remark how “unfortunate” we are despite the happiness we experience. We may, however, not be in agreement to either of the observations. The state of “happiness” is indeed very personal and can vary greatly based on what we believe “being happy is”.
The happiness that we experienced in our childhood also influences our state of happiness in adulthood. I need to look nowhere but my own life to provide an example of that fact.
As a child, I had enjoyed such a memorable childhood that even today, the fragrance of those delightful years fill me with an immense sense of security and serenity. During adulthood, I faced personal issues that sometimes caused an acute sense of despair and loneliness in me. But through it all, the strength of those joyful childhood years miraculously gave me the boldness to face those issues and eventually overcome those moments in life and move on.
How can we help our children face a happier life?
Sense of Belonging
One of the best ways to give children a “happy” childhood is to give them a sense of belonging. A sense of belonging that helps them enter a powerful state of profound well being and harmony by the time they reach adulthood. Being loved, cared of, appreciated, respected and cherished creates during childhood is a great protective shield against the affects of emotional issues and insecurities in later years. The stability and harmony a child experiences from a fulfilling childhood instills an inner strength against negative or antisocial behavior too.
Even in situations that may have us experience self doubt, the security and strength that our childhood years had provided us, would enable us to be more courageous to tackle negative thinking.
Today, I gratefully acknowledge the positive effects of the upbringing I’ve enjoyed, thanks to my parents, especially in matters that require the patience to seek solutions rather than fret needlessly about the issue.
Encourage Unbiased & Neutral Thinking
Encourage children to look at people, cultures, countries, religions without prejudice. The less we enforce our bias on them, the more happy and neutral their attitude towards people and life will be.While I promote this as a great way to help our children become happier, I admit I need to reduce my inclination to pass judgement!
Just a day ago, my daughter and I got into a lengthy discussion on people with tattoos. My comment that those sporting a tattoo may be coming to terms about their identity received a sharp retort from her. “Why categorize them?”, was her question. Thinking about her comment a little later, I admit that she may have a point. Indeed, in my case, not sporting a tattoo, does not give me a license to consider those who do enjoy sporting one to be in a “category” that seeks to find their identity. Perhaps they just enjoy the simple pleasure of having a tattoo on themselves.
Providing Happiness – By Overexerting
Many parents make the mistake of making all the efforts to make their child happy. By pandering to our child’s every whim and fancy, the result could be disappointing to say the least. There is a good possibility that the child may then grow pampered, have tantrums and have little gratitude for life.
Several parents also are drawn to this behavior when they feel that they are obliged to provide their child with whatever they did not enjoy when they were their child’s age.
Our child’s happiness does not lie completely in our hands. It also greatly depends on the child’s ability to learn from life’s setbacks and disappointments without loss of spirit. If we allow the child to learn and evolve, while ensuring them of the security of the parental presence in their life, we are more likely to succeed in helping them becoming happier as adults.
A happy childhood enables a child to grow up with better optimism, gratitude, resilience and the ability to enjoy life. The skills we learn from the beautiful childhood years help us in sustaining and maintaining our harmony in adult life. As a parent, our consciousness of this fact affects our interactions with our child and plays a crucial role in our child’s future happiness.