How to Raise a Happy Kid: Part 1 by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth, www.lilystruth.com

by Susan A. Haid

When all is said and done, as parents and caregivers, more than anything else we want our children to be happy.   In providing for our child’s happiness, where does our responsibility begin and where does it end?  As a mother of three active, inquisitive and involved children, I can tell you that my kids never stop asking for what they want.  If I obliged every request, there would be no end to the fulfilment of their needs and desires.   And in this puzzle, where do I fit in?

Being a happy Mom is also part of the formula, you see.  My kids, like most other kids their age, are involved in sports, music, dance and more.  They also have a very active social life with their friends.  As you know, this requires a big commitment on my part to ensure that all of these activities happen on a regular basis.

So, on the days when we don’t have plans readily in place comes the inevitable question, “What are we doing today?” which is always followed by the expected yet incessant response, “I’m bored.”

In empowering my children, I realize that my kids must learn to take responsibility for managing their own happiness when they have time to themselves.  Now, we all know what kids do when they’re bored. They fight with each other.  It’s a game for them, it’s fun and it kills time.  This also can push even the likes of Mother Theresa over the edge within a matter of seconds.

So what is a parent/caregiver to do?  I have learned that a good measure of patience is required to get through the initial phase of boredom kids will experience.  Then there is the consequent whining, pouting and demanding that will initially ensue.  This is when I make a few firm, non-negotiable statements to my children that today they must entertain themselves.  Ofcourse, the emotional manipulations continue for a good long while, but then my kids seem to figure something out.

I have watched my kids make choices to entertain themselves based on the resources they have at home.   This is the birthplace of imaginative play and creative activities. This is when my kids walk out the door to play with rocks, sticks, dirt and grass.  This is when they enter the magical and wondrous world of their imaginations.  It’s getting beyond the initial resistance that is the hardest part.  I have learned to stand my ground and not give in to the whining, complaining and demanding because something wonderful is about to happen.

Some of the most beautiful experiences I have had in teaching my kids to take responsibility for entertaining themselves has occurred while we have been outdoors.  Out in the forest or by a stream, there is so much naturally available to keep a kid occupied without the crutch of a computer game, ipod or television.   Once a child gets immersed in nature, hours will pass by without a peep.  The next amazing thing that happens is that the child begins to relax and let go of the need to seek stimulation from other people or from technology.  With every hour a child is submersed in the magical world of nature, the child innately returns to his or her own peaceful state of being.  This is so healthy for our children.

Kids need down time.  Kids need time to be alone with themselves.  Some kids are better at being alone than others, but inevitably, time alone (preferably out in nature) is profoundly healing and balancing for each and every child.  It is also deeply restful and nuturing for parents and caregivers. 

Every now and then, make a point to walk away from life completely.  Teach your kids how to do it to.   Teach your kids also how to enjoy their own company.  This may seem inconsequential, but you have just unwittingly instructed your children on how to manage their own happiness.  This is simple, elegant and empowering.  This will bring peace and balance to your family and your life.  This will teach your children how to care for themselves and their tender inner spirits.   Everyday life is stressful for everyone, but you can always choose to leave it all behind for a few hours at a time.   This is a skill we teach our children by example.

Saying “no” to the constant demands to provide for a child’s happiness and “yes” to a child’s opportunity to fill their own time in a peaceful and nurturing setting is a great way to empower your child.   Give your children the gift of themselves.  Help them to become supremely comfortable in their own energy.  You are supporting the development of their sovereignty in doing so, and this is a most beautiful and blessed unfolding that is a result of liberating the inner spirit.

For more information about empowering kids, teens and families, or for more information about Susan A. Haid and Lily’s Truth, visit www.lilystruth.com for more exciting details.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. buy_vigrxplus
    Jul 15, 2009 @ 16:50:56

    Pretty cool post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really liked reading your blog posts. Anyway
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    Reply

  2. Extenze
    Aug 05, 2009 @ 09:50:52

    Keep working ,great job!

    Reply

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