Five simple ways to make a happy child

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We should make them feel like the world is still a beautiful place in which to live, in spite of everything.

All parents just want their children to be happy. But not only that, we also want them to grow up into the best person that they could be. But the big question is: “How much control do we have over our children’s happiness and success for that matter?”

What makes a happy child? What makes him become successful in his chosen field and in life? What could we do to increase the odds that our children would have been achieving these things?

We may try these five simple ways to make happy and successful children:

Help them feel connected. The keyword is “connectedness.” We must make them feel they are loved, acknowledged, understood, and wanted. We must make them feel they are important to us. We must show them unconditional love.

Hug them. Kiss them. Respond with empathy to their cries. Be with them, eat with them, and laugh with them. The more connections we’re making our children with, the better.

We must not be too cynical. We should curb our cynicism. When we’re cynical about just everything, it could take a huge toll on our children’s sense of security, which is considered a crucial component of happiness. Instead, we should make them feel like the world is still a beautiful place in which to live, in spite of everything.

Don’t grant them their every wish and desire. We must focus on our children’s long-term happiness by not putting them in a bubble and grant their every wish and desire. Normally, kids would have their own ways of interpreting for what they grow to expect which the real world doesn’t always work that way.

We should allow our kids to develop such coping skills and resilience they would need to bounce back from life’s inevitable setbacks. We should help them learn in dealing with negative emotions.

Help them find their passion and praise them for it. We should be exposing our kids to a wide range of experiences to see what appeals to them. We should help them develop their ability to totally immerse themselves in an activity they love as that would give them a leg up on happiness throughout their lives.

Make mealtime a positive experience from an early age. When we’re eating with our kids together in a round table, it is important to make sure we raise positive topics to discuss with them. It is through such time when we’re eating healthily, under pleasant, unhurried conditions that would make us feel better in both body and spirit.

Parenting should be a joyful experience

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Me and my son Nathaniel. This picture was taken two years ago.

Can you have fun being a parent? The answer may not be what you would like to hear, but this is what I’m going to say being a parent myself: I’m having fun being a parent.

Of course, parenting is hard and raising kids could drain you both in the emotional and intellectual aspects of it. As a parent, you’ll have to meet your children’s needs, whether you like it or not, and they could be so demanding. Parenting begins while your child was still in the womb.

I’m a realist, but I’m also an idealist at the same time. I agree on the fact that parenting, to some degree, could lower the emotional well-being of a person. I also agree that for one to become a parent, he has to master the art of maintaining a household despite all the hustles and bustles it has to bring.

When I became a dad for the first time, I honestly felt like I’m being caught in a trap of mixed emotions. I felt nervous, anxious, and yet joyful. How would I be like raising a child? I have heard it many times from other parents that it’s not going to be easy.

It’s been almost four years ago today since I became a dad. And now I discovered why fatherhood or parenthood is such a very beautiful experience anyone could have or go through.  The point is not about having it easy or playing it safe. Sure, you could spare yourself from all the hardships raising kids may bring, but you’re going to also miss out on some of life’s greatest joys.

So when I hear people say that parents are miserable beings, I could only smile. They had no idea how parenthood could be such a rich source of joy, deep meaning, and purpose for every person. It could put anyone to be in touch with a whole other sensitivity which is nothing but good. It makes one feel more than he has ever felt. He feels the vulnerability of what he’s gotten into, but at the same time he would not be trading it for anything.

Why you should be proud being a parent

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PROUD FATHER. Celebrating fatherhood with comfort foods and a beer.

While biology is what will determine whether a person can be a mom or a dad, the society, on the other hand, may play a very important role in dictating how one should be acting accordingly as a father, papa, dad, mom, or mama. Nevertheless, it is God alone who can make a parent truly a parent; he or she should be someone who can reflect God in himself.

Parenthood is not about assuming the easy task. It is about taking charge for what’s considered as one of the most important jobs in the world. Becoming a parent is to willingly accept such a heavy role of giving, guiding, providing, and sacrificing everything in order for the family to grow and flourish.

A parent is someone who can make mistakes, failed at times, and knows how to nurse some wounds. But, most importantly, he or she could rise from a fall, correct mistakes, and heals his or her own self and that of other people as well. There are, of course, lots of stumbling blocks along the way and many a storm to weather at on a daily basis.

But the rewards are great. Parenthood is all about experiencing the joy and pride of being chosen as one of God’s stewards for His earthly families. You couldn’t be more thankful than being given the opportunity of becoming one.

Watching your children grow from infancy to childhood and then to adolescence is, indeed, a truly fascinating experience. Parents have to face the challenges, play different roles, so that parenting becomes more of a puzzling yet rewarding journey. You’d surely be filled with joy and satisfaction to see your children grow up and ready for the challenges of life.

Raising kids is a way for you to learn to understand and appreciate more of God’s love for you. It is through such a wonderful process that you’re taught to become humble, tactful, considerate, and teachable. Such a role should further make you become a loving, faithful, trustworthy friend, and man to your dear wife.

Parenting is everyday role modeling

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Nathaniel looks good on eyeglasses.

As a parent, every action you’re going to show to your children may, in one way or another, motivate them to dig for more information on things that interest them and can inspire them to even try experimenting on things that intrigue them the most. It is true that words are important but actions speak louder than words, so to speak. Action is, in fact, character, so that while words are necessary it is a person’s behavior that says more about who he is.

Parents should be sending their most powerful messages through their actions. Kids are great imitators and you sure have already been catching them repeating your expressions or imitating your gestures. It is natural for a child to follow the leader, and for many years, you are the leader.

A child may find it easy learning what you demonstrate to him or her than what you may hope and thinks you teach. You can naturally demonstrate to your young child the importance of a particular thing by talking to him while doing something that involves what you are explaining all about a particular thing. Every parent must remember that a child’s brain is not easily fooled.

Children may have many inborn personality traits affecting their growth and development, but the daily example you set, as a parent, when faced with difficulties or problems will be speaking much more clearly to them than any lectures you might deliver. The fact is that your child’s perseverance tends to mirror that much of your own.

As you try to motivate your kids to develop their goals, there’s nothing better than exposing them to adults who have purpose in their lives, people who work in interesting professions, and pointing out stories about people who have overcome obstacles. You, as a parent, are a model, but so are other people like teachers, adult friends, priests, relatives, and so on and so forth. You can look to your extended family, community, and church for good role models for your children.

A parent’s role modeling is a powerful motivator because the number one way children learn is by imitation. In that sense, one of your most powerful tools in guiding and motivating them is setting a good example. There may be times when you’re kind of not feeling qualified to be a role model with its implication of excellence or perfection, but your child is always watching what you do.

How to tell your child what he needs to know about you know what

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Nathaniel shares a quality time together with his mom.

As a father to a three-year-old son, I was thinking about how I’m going to explain to him, if the time comes he’s going to ask me, on delicate matters like s*xuality, s*x organs, and so on. Of course, I had to tell him what is true and what is right for that matter. Besides, s*x education would be taught in school and it’s nice if he comes to know it directly from me first. It’s not an easy subject to discuss at any age though.

I know, too, that, sooner or later, my little boy would learn the mechanics of s*x no matter what. What he will have a harder time finding out about could be love. Yes, he’s going to develop such a right attitude about chastity and self-control not from any books, class or even talk by a parent.

He’s going to acquire it as if by osmosis, that is, by simply watching his parents in action. He should be seeing it through his mother and father treating each other with kindness and respect just so he can view the tenderness between husband and wife. Most importantly, he should be seeing his parents on their knees in prayer—it is one of the most profound of lessons in obedience, chastity, and love that he could have.

Parents should serve as the primary educators of their children. Classroom instructions are meant to reinforce the values parents are imparting at home. In discussing s*xuality and chastity with our children, the following icebreakers may be worth using/sharing:

  • Explain to him that self-control is a sign of maturity and strong character. Anybody can give in to s*xual urges or desires. But only those who are weak and immoral do it all the time. It is important to practice self-denial and self-control, resisting impure, immodest or immoral behaviors because it is one way of showing character.
  • Tell him that his s*xuality is a gift from God. It is a sacred thing and, therefore, must not be abused or used for the wrong reasons.
  • Explain to your child that prayer and frequent reception of the sacraments are one of his best tools to fight temptation.
  • Explain to him that his parents are always there to pray for him so that God will give him the grace to withstand temptation and those occasions that may be sinful.

How to raise emotionally healthy kids

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One of Nathaniel’s best of poses.

If you’re one of those parents who wonder what more they can do to protect their children from others and from their own selves, then relax as everything is going to be just fine. There’s no such thing as a perfect parenting and all you can do is learn from your mistakes and to come out with a better version of yourself next time around. You will make a lot of mistakes and you’re going to fail, at times, as well but you have to regroup and continue what you are best at.

As a parent, you had this strong desire of wanting to make sure that your child gets his emotions across and that you’re going to hear, validate, and value him as a child. You feel like you have to re-evaluate your life and to get rid of some things in your life so you have more time for your kids. I hope the following tips on how to raise emotionally healthy kids can help:

SPEND TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN

Make your child feel how important they are to you by spending quality time with them. There is nothing that will nurture a relationship like togetherness.

EXPRESS YOUR AFFECTION OFTEN

Saying the words “I love you” every single day is not enough. You have to express it in action as well. Expressing your affection could mean a lot of things in a lot of ways. A simple way of caring is one of them.

HEAR WHAT YOUR CHILD IS SAYING AS WELL AS WHAT HE’S NOT SAYING

Encourage him to express his thoughts, emotions, and ideas. As a parent, you should be the very first person to know what’s going on inside your child and you should have the best knowledge of and about him.

BE INVOLVED IN YOUR CHILD’S LIFE

Invest a huge chunk of your time getting to know your child and to know what he’s doing and who his friends are. Make your child’s basketball games and other activities, for example, a family affair.

BE A GUIDING LIGHT

Your child needs guidance and he needs to experience life to learn from it. If you as a parent failed to set boundaries for your child he will grow up with little regard for the law and others. A child who is protected from disappointment will grow into adults who can’t handle life.

It is your duty to help your son or daughter to think through his or her actions and to experience, within reason, the consequences of his or her actions. When the behavior requires discipline, then you have to make sure the punishment is appropriate to the action.

HELP DEVELOP YOUR CHILD’S SELF-WORTH

More often than not, parents tend to focus on mistakes their kids are making. It’s easy to notice what they do and comment on that all day long. While it is acceptable to point out mistakes and misbehaviors, if that’s the majority of what a child is hearing from you, he will grow up thinking there’s not much right with them.

Parents should help their own children to build on strengths instead of putting emphasis on their weaknesses. It can be done by looking for what parts your child is doing well and comment on that as well.

HONOR YOUR MARRIAGE AND YOUR SPOUSE

A strong marriage is vital to producing happy children. Both you and your spouse should be working on your marriage together relentlessly. Try to keep it playful and fun also.

HELP YOUR CHILD DEVELOP HIS HABIT OF HAPPINESS

If you’re the kind of parent who had a positive outlook of life, then you’re helping to pass that along to your child. Responding positively when your child is enthusiastic about something is also one of the ways to do it. You have to encourage your child to talk about the good things in his life.

It is good to remember that happiness is a feel-good emotion strongly tied to self-esteem. When you’re feeling good about yourself, it generates from the sense that you are doing the right thing and making good decisions.

HELP PROMOTE OR BUILD FAMILY TRADITIONS

There should be time for a family to worship together. The connection to God helps to connect families. Set at least a day each week as family day. Celebrate birthdays, holidays, and other important events involving your children and spouse. Celebrations are equally valuable and as a means to unite the family.

THE VALUE OF FAMILY MEALS

Make the most of your family mealtime talking about interesting topics like, for example, your plans for the day. Encourage each member of the family to share. You should be doing that in order to keep in touch with what your kids are doing, what they dream about, who their best friends are, what their favorite subject in school is, and so on and so forth.

Knowing your kids in this way is vital to their well-being. Some studies suggest that a lack of connection in families can help to perpetuate some of the teen violence. But the key to raising emotionally healthy children is in making sure that your kids are first and foremost in your life and for them to know and feel they are.

Twenty important questions every parent must answer concerning his children

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Here’s an illustration to simply explain my own Theory of Connectivity.

Parenting is one of the most important jobs in the planet, notwithstanding the fact that it is also one of the most challenging. Parents shape the future of the world through these young generations of souls they were mentoring. It is the job of parents to help their children evolve into their fullest potentials and to serve their own purposes.

The art of raising motivated, responsible children should be understood as a continuity of the expression of the laws of the universe and that the parents themselves participate in such a cosmic order, whatever they can contribute, to what the universe is trying to do. In that sense, parenting is more than just the biological aspect of taking care of children but, in its highest form, to also participate in the creation of God and the laws governing it. Parents should be able to see and recognize the fact that we’re all coming from the same cosmic act of creation.

In nurturing kids, the parents should be able to find ways in channeling their children’s natural energy and curiosity into positive, motivated, and productive learning experiences. The connection that a parent can establish to his children is crucial to the expression of understanding their highest purpose. But how can one become a better parent? It is a good move on your part to evaluate yourself by starting to answer the following questions:

  • Will I be an encouraging parent to my children as they come to experience new things and explore the world?
  • Will I be supportive in their ability and freedom to think on their own?
  • How will I manage anger and conflict happening between them and me?
  • In what way will I be able to help validate my children’s way of thinking and perceptions?
  • Will I be able to mirror their communications clearly and turn them into a vehicle that leads to better understanding?
  •  In what way will I be able to help them get the freedom of being just themselves?
  • Can I be a good role model to them?
  • Can my children count me in to support their expression of feelings?
  • Will I be consistent in serving as a good role model to them?
  • Can I pay attention to their needs and answer each one of them?
  • In what way will I be able to connect to my children effectively?
  • How will I be able to deal well with failures and frustrations?
  • Will I be able to help them experience joy and the importance of having fun together?
  • Will I be able to successfully provide them with clear boundaries and to set limits that reinforce their sense of safety and support?
  • In what way will I be able to successfully convince them about the existence and worship of a God without pressuring them?
  • Will I be able to motivate them in a positive way?
  • In what way I’m going to make them feel my unconditional love for them?
  • How will I overcome my own fears?
  • How will I respond to criticisms?
  • How ready am I in letting go of my beloved children when all they want is independence and can stand on their own two feet?