Everyone craves happiness in life these days but do you know how to go about attaining that happiness in your life, let alone the lives of your children? The pursuit of happiness is something which everyone strives for in their daily lives, and impacting the lives of our young ones is important for their future as well. A happy child is one which has had a happy childhood and that reflects on their upbringing and the type of environment they have been raised up in.

When it comes to children, not many people think about happiness, since everyone is so busy making sure that their child excels in sports and studies to even stop to think about the most important thing. Is your child happy? Or are they weighed down with all the expectations and the realities for which you are preparing your child for? It is important to remember that the childhood years of your child’s life are the most defining ones, and probably the years which will make the greatest impact on their life.

Children are burdened with too many expectations and the pursuit of excellence that they forget to be happy, and you are left with an unhappy child who does not even realize what it feels like to play with friends on a Sunday afternoon and to relax outside with their friends on a warm sunny day. So how do we impact the lives of our children in a positive way and ensure that we have a happy child, one who is ready to face the challenges that life has to offer?

Here are the top ten secrets to a happy child that will allow your child to blossom and have a happy childhood and future as well.

Foster Connections

The key to a happy child is to promote your feelings in a positive and healthy manner and to help them foster connections with everyone in the family. It is important that your child feels like he belongs in the family and does not feel out of place in the least bit. Studies have shown that happy children come from families, who have helped them foster connections in a positive light. Children are very intuitive and catch on to body language and the vibes that you emanate around them very quickly and will react accordingly.

It is extremely important for a child to feel loved by their family and establish a strong bond that harbors feelings of being wanted, understood, acknowledged and loved. Studies have shown that the more connections and bonds that a child has in his childhood the more confident, and happy the individual becomes in life. Parents are encouraged to hold, cuddle, play, laugh and read together, since it promotes a connection with the child and helps them establish healthy bonds in their childhood. It also reduces the risk of the child getting involved in violence and drug abuse later on in life.

Allow for Success and Failure

We see it all too often unfortunately, when parents hand everything to their children on a platter and spoil them unconditionally in their formative years. This may seem as a good thing for the child for you, but it impacts negatively on your children, since it paints an unrealistic picture for them and leaves them completely unprepared for the hurdles which they will face in life. You should always leave room for error with children and let them struggle to overcome the simple things in life in their formative years so that they realize what failure is and how to convert it into success.

It can be hard to watch your child struggle and your instincts get the better of your sometimes but the greatest mistake parents of today make, is spoon feed everything to their children and give them everything they want. This paints a false impression on the children and they become entirely different on their parents for everything in life. It can be tough to master anything when you are doing it for the first time, it can be learning how to ride a bike, walking for the first time, or dressing themselves for the first time. Make sure that your child learns how to perfect these skills by themselves, as not only will it boost their self-esteem and build up confidence but also allow them to deal with the struggles of life later on.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Too many parents tend to be overprotective over their young ones and shield them from disappoints which only impacts negatively on the child. It helps if you are fair and upfront with your child about the things which are wrong and what the consequences will be if they do something wrong. Not protecting your child from small stuff and other disappointments will help build their character and help them distinguish right from wrong.

If they do something wrong, they must face the consequences, and you will not be there for them their whole life to pick them up when they fall. Let them get back on their feet by themselves and this will enable them to face life with optimism and a sense of realism that will help them in their lowest points.

Create a Family Mission Statement

While it is always good to set some rules and help build your child’s character, it is also important not to go overboard and set so many rules that is impossible for the child to consistently obey them or understand the importance of those rules. It is alright to set rules for your children, but it is also important to give them their freedom within the boundaries that you have set for them, so that they feel like they can make their own choices as well.

This will help them make decisions later on in life, and overcome difficult circumstances as well. If you let your child be ruled by a bunch of rules then it may cause your child to feel as if your love is compelled upon obeying a set of rules and reflects negatively on them. Create a family mission statement of the things your children are allowed to do and be fair in your judgment if they break those rules so that they do not feel unloved by you.

Give Real Responsibilities

A great way to boost the self-esteem of your child is by giving them real responsibilities in and around the house, and don’t fret when your children fail to live up to their responsibilities. This establishes a feeling of being connected with the household and they feel important and needed from an early stage. This will also instill a feeling of dedication and commitment in your children and teach them how to be organized and responsible in life.

Set them simple tasks like setting the table, helping you wash the dishes, refilling the pets food bowl or carrying the shopping inside the house. Play according to the strengths of your child and always try to make a game, when giving them responsibilities with a possible reward at the end of it if they manage to do it flawlessly. This will increase the confidence of your child and build their character from a young age, and also help them later in life.

Encourage Self Compassion

Love your children unconditionally no matter what happens, but always be firm and fair when the situation demands it. Children are bound to make mistakes when they are learning new things or handling new responsibilities. When your child makes an error, don’t scold them and punish them, forgive them for the indiscretion and shower them with love. It is important that a child feels loved by their parents, since it instills a feeling of being wanted and creates a happy spirit in the child.

Kids that realize that their parents love them unconditionally and will support them through both right and wrong tend to be more confident and optimistic in life, since they know that their parents will help them whenever they mess up. It is important to keep a balance between your compassion, since your child should not abuse the love that you are providing them with, and not look to you for every little problem. Teach them how to overcome difficult situations and avoid making the same mistakes again, but also show them that you are there for them in difficult moments.

Promote the Knowledge of Love

Studies have shown that happier children come from households where the parents practice a happy atmosphere and help their children have happy lives. Children follow adults and try to copy everything that they see their elders do, which is why children that have been brought up in households with depressed parents are more depressed in their lives, than children that have been brought up in happy households.

The best thing that parents can do for their children is to be there for them in their times of need and promote the knowledge of love. Children are quick to pick up the vibes from their parents and if they see their parents fighting and struggling in life, that causes them to draw back into their shell and feel depressed. It is important that you show your child the bright side of life from an early age and bring them up in a happy and stress free environment to encourage a happy child. Studies have shown that parents who have a good committed relationship tend to have a positive impact on their children, and ensures on a happier child.

Embrace the “Mess”

It is inevitable that your child will run into problems in life, and it is important that you stand beside them and guide them through their difficult moments. When your child needs your help in something, it is better to help them overcome the problem with proper guidance, rather than hold their hand and give them the answers to their solution.  Support is necessary for your child, since it instills the belief in them that you are committed towards helping them, and ensures that they come up with the answers themselves.

This is one of the best lessons that you can teach your child and it will surely impact positively in their life as well, since it will help try and find the answers themselves rather than rely on you to clean up the mess. Decision making is a very important factor for growing children, and your child must learn how to make their own decisions and face the consequences of those decisions. Not only will this teach your child how to overcome problems in their future but also promote self confidence and character as well.

Make Positive Affirmations a Daily Routine

Many parents tend to overly praise their children on every menial task that they do, or anything that they might achieve. This can be a dangerous thing for children, since they get used to hearing you praise them every time they do something worthwhile and while it is good to encourage your children to push themselves and try to achieve perfection it is entirely wrong to promote or praise your child in a manner which suggests that they must always try to achieve something in order to get that praise from you again. Very often we see children being pushed by their parents to excel and exceed their limits and become disappointed when the child fails to achieve the heights that their parents want them to achieve.

Studies have shown self-esteem and happiness play a crucial role in the upbringing of a child and while they must be supported and praised on a regular basis, it is actually the nature of the praise that can play a defining role in building up the character of their child. Every time you praise your child for something that they did or achieve, they will assume that they have to match up to that standard consistently to get your approval and when they fail they will become depressed. This is why parents should praise the effort and skill shown by their child rather than the achievement, since it will create a healthy mindset for the child and they will not feel the need to constantly try and prove themselves to get the approval of their parents.

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

Last but not least, you should teach your child to always be gracious and humble in life, since it will help them reach their goals and tackle life with optimism. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude in your child is bound to have a positive effect on their social well being and will allow them to be realistic and thankful about the good things that happen to them in life.

Ensure that every member of the household follows this pattern and cultivates and attitude of gratitude to help your child embrace this and use it in their daily life.