Watching London grow into a little person and form her own personality and opinions has really led me to reflect on this past year and a half. It has always surprised me how people say she is such a happy baby. Aren’t all babies? If not, they most definitely should be and shouldn’t that be our number one focus as parents? Maybe we really don’t pay attention enough to what makes our kids happy. We think about their child’s success, what trophies they’ll win, and make big plans for what college they’ll go to. I, myself am so guilty of all of the that! Once upon a time, kids ran around outside without watching cartoons on iPads and iPhones; their imaginations ran wild and they made their own fun with nothing but a cardboard box. They socialized, they learned and most importantly, they had fun! In the midst of trying to be the best parents we can be, let’s not forget that childhood should be all about happiness. Read below for my tips on how to raise a happy child.
- GET YOUR CHILD ON A SLEEP SCHEDULE
It is so important to get kids to bed on time every night. When children are overtired, they become cranky and upset. Getting them to bed on time each night is so important for having them feel well-rested and ready to take on the new day.
- SET MEAL TIMES
No matter what your personal plans are for dinner whether it be a fancy holiday dinner at a relative’s house or a nice meal out, don’t make your child wait to eat past their normal mealtimes to participate. Well-fed kids are calm, satisfied and happy. Our new thing is to feed London before we actually get to our event and if she wants to nibble while she is there, then, great.
- SCHEDULE PLAYTIME
Set apart some time each day for unstructured play for your children. Playing is good and important for child development, self-confidence, creativity, imagination and emotional strength. Children who are given the opportunity to play each day are more cheerful and carefree.
- ALLOW THEM TO EXPRESS EMOTIONS FREELY
Sometimes it is hard to remember that kids are just that- kids. It’s especially difficult when it seems like they have been possessed and are throwing an uncontrollable temper tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. Instead of trying to shush or shame them, its best to just let them be. Our children have feelings and emotions and don’t have the option of calling a friend and “talking it out.” Although, dealing with a temper tantrum sounds bloody awful at the moment, it is better than dealing with an adult child with emotional issues that could lead to a plethora of other problems from depression and anxiety to eating disorders. Listen when your child is trying to express themselves. Always reassure and encourage them and work toward making a connection with them when they are emotional; It is the best way to build an honest relationship with them and helps build their self-confidence and overall happiness.
- LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY
No matter what your child does- it is beyond crucial to show them your undying love and support. This leads us to raising secure, confident and trustworthy adults that aren’t afraid to take healthy risks or chances. When our children know that we will always be there for them, they aren’t afraid to grow, learn or make mistakes. This leads us to raising perfectly imperfect adults that are free to dream, accomplish and succeed. Do all of the above and watch your kids smile!
I just love these photos of London from a few weeks ago when she was the youngest model in a fashion show for Zeeg Baby Couture, a chic children’s boutique that specializes in custom, hand-crafted clothing. Nick and I had loved watching her run down the runway, having so much fun with the other little girls! It was such an amazing moment for us to watch her shine like the little star she is! Keep shining, my love!
How do you focus on making your child happy? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!