22 HABITS THAT RAISE WELL ADJUSTED AND HAPPY KIDS

Many parents have been wondering how they will raise their children in a good positive way.  Me being a mother of several children I can say for myself that I have experienced everything, from angry kids to tantrums. I have been trying everything but nothing worked. I have learned from my own experience to try to incorporate these twenty two habits as much as possible.

 I been seeing a lot of posts about “My kids are just not happy. How do i deal with it.” Or “my toddler is always in a mood and angry” or “my kid is throwing things all the time.”  Parents want to see their children happy and thriving.  Happy kids are more likely to succeed in life and grow up to be accomplished adults.

Here are some of the habits as a parent that you need to impart to your children as early as possible. Just as these habits are helping me, I am sure they will help you as a parent to raise well adjusted and happy kids.  The change starts with you as a parent.

1. TEACH KIDS KINDNESS  Before you teach your kids how to be kind make sure they really understand what it means and the importance of giving not just receiving.  You can start teaching kindness at a very young age as early as 2 year old. Start small like baking cookies for someone sick and include your children in the activity. The best way to teach kindness to a child is to lead by example. First, be kind as a parent. You are their role model and they look up to you. Children who practice kindness are 25% happier then children that don’t.  Studies have shown that by showing kindness to others has an immediate positive impact on the brain and general health and has been proven to cure depression.  So start incorporating kindness in your children’s everyday lives and see them not only changing their lives for the better but also having a positive impact on the lives of others.  You never know what progress one can be achieved with a little kindness. 

2. BOUNDARIES The boundaries between parents and their toddlers have great impact on the lives of the toddlers. Parents should create real boundaries and also impose rules that are realistic and balanced in nature. There should be only love between a child and parent. Rules must be enforced in the atmosphere of love, forgiveness and care. But rules must be enforced. Children need to know that the rules apply. That the rules are fair and the punishment, applied with love and in moderation, is appropriate to the deed. Parents should practice their natural softness, but should not be afraid to say no you can’t climb on me or no we don’t stand on the table. This will make it possible for the kids to follow rules without feeling oppressed or resentful.  The sooner a parent or caregiver can establish those boundaries, the easier it will be for the child to relinquish ‘testing’ and return to playing.

Parents are sometimes afraid that children will become angry and defiant if the parents are firm and consistent about rules with their children. However, it is actually the other way around. A child does not feel free unless boundaries are clearly defined and established.

2.ROUTINES There are some things that are more challenging to the kids for example self-control, empathy and so on. As a parent you need to set some routines like what kids should expect in the morning, lunchtimes and bedtime. Creating a regular routine is an essential way to give toddlers the security of knowing “what happens next” in their day. To wake up with these routines may have a great impact to the kids and make them feel a sense of control which is a positive value in kids and they can use it even when they grow older. 

3. EARLY BEDTIME. I am a huge believer in early bedtime. I will tell anyone and everyone that early bedtime is a magical thing and it has many good benefits.  Here are some that I would like to discuss.  Kids are much happier in the mornings when they get good amount of sleep.  The brain develops during sleep. Kids are exposed to new learning environment everyday. They need to have enough sleep for the mind to connect to the new ideas they meet during the day. Let them have enough sleep. They need this and will help very much in their health and wellbeing and you will see they will be happier in the morning

4. HUGS AND KISSES.  Unconditional love is always the best foundation.  Children who feel unconditionally loved learn better, behave better, rest better and are better equipped to thrive. Children need hugs and kisses to grow.  There is actually a love hormone that is released when hugging and kissing, which used to keep emotional imbalances in check and which stimulates growth. This hormone is called Oxytocin, which is a hormone that makes the toddlers feel good and happy. There are many benefits of hugging and kissing your children and here is a very important one.  Hugging and kissing makes kids smarter, make kids grow, it keeps children healthy. Hugs and kisses can stop temper tantrums. And last but not least, hugs and kisses make happy kids.  Give your kids hugs and kisses as soon as they wake up until they go to sleep.  I have this rule to try to give 30 hugs and kisses-a-day. Thats right there is never too many hugs and kisses. 

5. PLAYFUL PARENTS.  Who has time to play games with your kids? You do, you have to make time.  Its so important not only for your child but also for parent’s wellbeing.  It doesn’t have to be long, just 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there.  If your child is cranky or not in the best mood, the best thing you can do for them is play with them.  By playing with your children, not only are you teaching them important skills while you playing with them, but you are demonstrating that you love them and care for them.  

6. LIMIT SCREEN TIME There should be limits on the time the toddlers spend watching television. This is because children need specific stimuli from the outside environment.These important and essential stimuli cannot be found in the screens but on the outside environment. If children are starved of these stimuli, they may have stunted growth. Plus, looking at screens for a prolonged periods of time is harmful to vision and more indirectly, to the nervous system.

7. YOUR  ATTENTION,  NOT THINGS  Research has shown that children remember how much attention  than things you give them. They will remember the games you played together, like football games or sitting with them on the floor doing a puzzle.  Children need more time with their parents than the things you give them.  Things get forgotten but special time with parents stays in their hearts forever.  The great together time has enormous benefits to everyone involved and will ultimately make a positive impact on your children’s lives.

8. READ BOOKS WITH THEM Study has shown that reading to kids from when they are very young helps them develop speech at early age and serves as a mold of a close bond with their parents. Children that were read to at a young age do better in schools and interact with peers, and in general have better social skills.  Reading to children is one of the most important things in a child’s development. When you read with your child at a young age they will be able to read by themselves faster then children that where not read to.  

9. MUSIC  Music has amazing benefits for child development, mental, physical, and overall literacy and memory skills, as well as general phycological well-being. Parents use music to express joy, and to engage or calm their children.  Studies have shown children who listen or learn to play music at young age do phenomenally well in language and reading skills.   Music is beneficial to all areas of child development, intellectual, social, emotional, motor and language skills.  Music strengthen the connection between the body and brain to work together as a team. Music that has shown to have brought about these benefits is classical music of all types. Benefits of modern music styles are unclear.

10. SELF HAPPINESS As parents, it is our job to guide our children in so many areas and one of them is developing happy side of a child.  Happier parent will be able to bring happiness out of a child.  A Child’s sense of happiness and sense of satisfaction, is in large part influenced by the parent’s happiness and sense of satisfaction.   Kids adapt to the environment they are living in. They will be comfortable to be trained by a happy parent and will adopt this demeanor as the norm.  Happier people are more likely to be successful at school, work, and in their personal lives. It turns out we can teach our children how to be happy by encouraging certain habits.

11. TEACH OPTIMISM The world needs optimists today more than ever. And people who are optimists have better lives. Every child feels disappointed or discouraged sometimes, but getting past those moments requires at least a glimmer of optimism.  Always teach your kids to focus on the positive things. Encourage them not to give up or give in to to anything that lowers their self esteem. Optimism will help them get past natural bumps in their path and focus on their goals. Of course, as with everything, to teach a positive trait, like optimism, the parent must have that trait or practice that trait. So be an optimist. Its good for you too.

12. TEACH EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Its advisable to teach your children to differentiate emotions, this will help them to deal with their emotions and that of other people.  Children with higher emotional intelligence are better able to pay attention, are more engaged in school, have more positive relationships, and are more empathic.  They also regulate their behaviors better and earn higher grades.  Talk about what your child is feeling and help him or her name the emotion.  A

13. TEACH SELF DISCIPLINE Self discipline is not an overnight solution it takes time and pain on the parents side. Parents think that self discipline means controlling your children but it shouldn’t be about controlling, but rather about teaching them how to control themselves.  Parents should teach their children self-control by example.  Parents with Children that are laking self-discipline tended to lack discipline themselves. Some advice that I have for you is to teach children to be grateful for what they already have going for them rather than by looking at other things that they want.  Teach your children understand the concept of money, buying things only if they need,  and not when they want them.  Children that are disciplined form very young age will succeed in life. They will better handle life challenges, control stress, cope with uncomfortable situations.

14. ROUTINES There are some things that are more challenging to the kids for example self control, empathy and so on. As a parent if you set some routines like what kids should expect in the morning, lunchtimes and also time for bed. Creating a regular routine is an essential way to give toddlers the security of knowing “what happens next” in their day. To wake up with these routines may have a great impact to the kids and make them feel a sense of control which is a positive value in kids and they can use it even when they grow older 

15. HAVE MORE FAMILY TIMES Having some time with your family helps strengthen family bonds and increase family love. The child gains trust and understanding by having more time with parents. When children are close to their parents they will share the issues affecting them freely.  Having positive family time builds self-esteem, creates bonds, creates great memories  and relieves stress.    Here are some examples on how you can have more family time together.  Make it a habit that you at least eat dinner together, at least on weekends.  Play a board game on Sunday afternoons or simply  just take your kids outside for a long walk where you chat connect and laugh together.  Doing these things regularly will do a lot to build you child’s confidence and healthy development. 

16.  SUNDAY TRIPS  Taking a day off, such as Sundays, when you are free, helps them learn new things from the outside world. site seeing tours helps kids relax after a busy week. It is also breaks the monotony of staying closed up in the house with the same people. Often this does not mean skipping adult social events. But you may need to curtail these to some degree, or learn how to combine the two.

17. CHORES studies show that giving your children daily chores may be of great help to them. Depending on their age you can give them some simple chores like washing utensils or cleaning up their toys. Research has shown that giving kids some simple chores will help them tremendously at older ages and make them responsible.  Children that were raised being expected to do chores tend to be better adjusted, achieve more academically and are more successful in their eventual careers.  They also tend to have  better social relationships with family and friends 

18. EXPECT EFFORT, NOT PERFECTION  Perfection is one of the most destructive diseases among American, and western cultures today. Children that are always trying to be perfect are never happy.  Research from National University of Singapore did a study on children with projectionist parents where susceptible to anxiety and depression.  Lets be realistic. Children are not perfect, expecting constant perfection from your children can actually break them. Remove the word perfect from your vocabulary. It does no good to your child’s wellbeing and self-esteem.  Replace word perfection with excellence.  If they put effort into something no matter how good the outcome is, your response should always be “you did an excellent job.” If your toddler colored a picture and all colors mixed together, don’t say what is this? but rather say you did an amazing job praise him and hang that picture on the fridge.  Lets notice effort our children put into every day tasks and not focus on how perfect they should be. 

19. SLOW MOVING DAYS parents need to take their time from their busy schedule to participate in the activities their children are involved in. For instance when they are playing, doing their homework and even how they interact with people around them. Take time to witness an activity that is important to your child. Make sure to attend, comment, cheer, be positive and supportive. 

20.  PRAISE YOUR CHILDREN .  Praising children has amazing benefits in child’s development. According to recent studies the average 2 year old hears 432 negative statements but only 32 positive statements each day. No wonder why so many children are just not happy.  Praising children daily builds self-esteem, encourages positive behavior and fosters closer bonding between parent and child, and will motivate your child to do more.  Praise their effort not the outcome. Praise your toddler that he tired to clean up the toys even though half are still on the floor. Praise your child that he tried to study even though he got a C on his or her test. Don’t praise that he won the game, praise their effort.  But one thing I would like to tell you, don’t over-do-it on praise. Too much praise may encourage haughtiness and conceitedness.  If your child fails at something praise the effort and encourage the to try again and never give up. 

21. EMPATHY Empathy is a root of child’s kindness and compassion.  A child’s sense of empathy appears early in life, for example when a small child see someone is upset or hurt they feel bad and start crying, or when child sees someone crying he runs to get a toy to make that person feel good. It is a learned behavior that promotes kindness and should be done at home or at school all the time.   As a parents, we can start teaching empathy to young children at very young age as early as 18 months old.   Most children that have developed empathy skill do better in school and are more likely to have lots of good friends 

 22.   OUTDOOR TIME Outside play  for children has many benefits.  Some good benefits are when children play outside. It helps them develop learning abilities.  When kids play outdoors they tend to practice creativity and independence and much more.   As a parent you need to take a break and spend time outside with your kids.  Parents who never or rarely take their kids outside, risk exposing their children to possible emotional stress.  Some kids may cry or fear sounds made like loud noises from outside if they are not exposed to going out regularly.  Also, outdoor activities help your children connect and play with their peers. 

Being parent is not easy at the begging, but let me tell you if you incorporate these 22 things in your child every day tasks from very young age, you will defiantly going to raise very well adjusted, happy  and good humans.

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