...By Pelumi Emmanuel for TDPel Media.
“What should I do to ensure my kid grows happy and healthy?” This is one of the most common concerns voiced by parents worldwide. The answer is lengthy and complicated, with many distinct elements interacting to produce healthy and happy kids.
Nothing brings happiness to parents than knowing their children are content. After all, you have some degree of control over their happiness and well-being.
But what exactly is it that makes a child content? Is it more important to be patient, form strong bonds with them, and validate their experiences rather than caving to all of their whims and permitting more screen time?
Here are six recommendations to help your kids thrive physically and emotionally.
1. Promote Healthy Eating
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
What you feed your children determines whatever you get out of them. Therefore, they require a well-rounded diet rich in essential nutrients. Picture colorful dishes of fruits, vegetables, and nutritious grains. Limit sugar, particularly in sweetened beverages like juice and soda, and choose low-fat dairy products, especially for infants.
Milk is vital to a baby’s diet since it contains the nutrients necessary for growth. However, it contains lactose.
Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk. It represents one of the most difficult nutrients for our digestive systems to process. While regular cow’s milk is high in calcium, the lactose content might be difficult for infants to process.
Though goat milk is not entirely lactose-free, it has been shown to have far less of it, making goat milk baby formula a better option for infants.
But why is goat’s milk beneficial or superior to alternatives like rice, soy, or almond milk? It is far healthier for babies’ nutritional needs because it contains much more calcium.
Furthermore, help your children to learn the value of moderation by teaching them to portion their meals. Lead the way by eating healthily and getting them engaged in the kitchen. After all, childhood should be the beginning of a healthy, lifelong relationship with food.
2. Make Healthy Sleep a Priority
Children have a greater need for sleep than adults because of their rapid physical and mental development. Children may experience difficulties with fundamental skills and mood if they get 30 to 60 minutes less sleep than needed. So, what exactly is that magical number daily?
According to their age:
- Newborns: 12–15 hours
- Toddlers: 11–14 hours
- Kindergarteners: 10–13 hours
- Ages 6 to 13: 9 to 11 hours
- Teenagers (aged 14 to 17): 8 to 10 hours
This indicates that the optimal time for young children to sleep is between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. Establish a sleep schedule and make it a point to religiously follow it. Everyone in your home will be happier if they’ve had enough sleep.
3. Help Build Stronger Relationships
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No one disputes the significance of social skills learning, yet few parents try to train their children in these areas.
Your kids won’t learn valuable social skills by hearing “Hey, knock it off” every time they fight.
Not much is required to teach relationship and interactive skills. You can begin by encouraging children to undertake modest acts of kindness and active listening to develop empathy.
In the long run, this helps your children become better individuals, develop the necessary interpersonal skills, and make them happier.
4. Encourage Optimism
Need to avoid grumpy teens? Then you must teach your preteens to see the positive side of things with gratitude.
When children are taught optimism at the age of 10, they are less likely to suffer from depression around the onset of puberty. Optimism and happiness are so deeply connected that they can almost be the same.
In research, it was revealed that optimists have the following advantages over pessimists:
- Perform better academically, professionally, and athletically.
- More healthy and have longer lives.
- They find themselves happier in their marriages as a result.
- Less prone to struggle with mental health issues such as sadness and anxiety.
Practicing gratitude has been shown to increase pleasant emotions and appreciation of positive situations, boost health, and mitigate the adverse effects of stress while strengthening bonds with others.
But how exactly can you instill thankfulness in young minds? Insist that they pause periodically during the day (maybe before or after each meal) to express gratitude for something in their lives publicly.
5. Teach Emotional Intelligence
Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash
Emotional acuity is a learned skill instead of a personality attribute. As busy as we are, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that our children have feelings as well. To make wise decisions and have great experiences, children must be able to identify and accept their emotions.
Assuming your kids will “naturally” grow to understand their feelings (and eventually others’ emotions).
A straightforward initial step is to help them “Empathize, Label, and Validate” when they are experiencing rage or discontent.
Help the kid figure out their feelings and tell them their feelings are acceptable, even if their bad behavior isn’t.
6. Become Happy Yourself
The last step toward happier children is, ironically, quite selfish.
Your level of happiness has a significant impact on how content and fulfilled your children feel.
Numerous studies have found a strong connection between depressive mothers and “negative repercussions” in their kids, like acting out and other behavioral issues. Behavioral issues in children seem to directly result from parental depression, which also reduces parenting effectiveness.
While the study did reveal a correlation between parental happiness and their offspring, it did not establish a genetic link. So, how can you begin making yourself happier? Spend more time together, having fun every week.
Parenting is one of the most challenging endeavors in the world. You must balance work, relationships, domestic duties, and passions while raising your children.
Nonetheless, most parents continuously look for ways to keep their children happy. However, this may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you’ll perform a great job if you follow the six suggestions above. But be careful not to fall into the “happiness trap” of parenting. Allowing children never to stumble can impede their growth.