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How Parents Can Teach Happiness To Kids

Can Happiness Actually Be Taught? Yes!

By Mike FerryPublished 7 years ago 1 min read
Photo by Mike Ferry
When I learned about the "science of happiness" several years ago at an education conference, it changed my life as a teacher and a father. My understanding of both education and parenthood altered forever. I now feel that we should view childhood as the time when kids acquire and practice the habits that will carry them to happiness and success in school and life. Fortunately, the growing "science of happiness" gives us a road map to follow. Parents don't need to wait and hope that happiness will magically descend from the heavens. Rather, we can teach our kids how to make happiness a more likely outcome.

In a nutshell, research has shown that our emotional states don't materialize by accident. On the other hand, our thoughts, behaviors, and experiences combine to produce our sense of emotional well-being. Ancient philosophers believed that happiness was rare and beyond our control. Now, thanks to this evolving school of psychology, we know better. Human beings possess the power to create their own happiness. And, since happiness is the ultimate goal for parents, we can show our kids how to achieve this lofty aspiration.

Where should we begin? I suggest that you start with gratitude. Many of us grumble and whine more than is necessary; as a result, our kids probably do the same thing. If parents devote more time to practicing and teaching gratitude, they will have happier homes and kids. Plus, gratitude has many long-term benefits. Getting kids hooked on gratitude early sets the stage for less stress and more success down the road.

Another important happiness habit is kindness. Kindness not only makes us happier, it also leads to a stronger personal relationships. By teaching kindness, we give our children a tool for emotional wellness that could open doors to new friendships and connections.

Perseverance is another important quality to encourage in our kids. When children work hard to surpass their challenges, they realize the value of effort. Plus, feeling that we have accomplished something difficult makes more confident in our ability to repeat this behavior in the future. People who persevere will achieve loftier heights than those who wilt under pressure.

By promoting gratitude, kindness, and perseverance at home, parents can help their kids inch closer to lives of happiness and fulfillment. Over time, the science of happiness will continue to point us towards this universal goal.

Known as the "Happy Teacher," Mike Ferry is a longtime history teacher, father of four, and the author of Teaching Happiness And Innovation. As a coach, Mike helps parents and teens learn and practice habits for success at school and beyond. For more information on teaching happiness to kids, you may visit Mike's website.

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About the Creator

Mike Ferry

Teacher, author, speaker. Featured in Washington Post, Huffington Post, Christian Science Monitor, CBS, NBC, Newsmax, and radio shows and podcasts around the world. Web: www.happinessandinnovation.com. Twitter: @MikeFerry7

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