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My life unplugged

my daily thoughts and ramblings on motherhood, raising my kids, being a wife and everything else in between that matters in our life.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

8 ways in raising a happy child


8 ways in raising a happy child

As a parent, we want our kids to be happy, tantrum-free, and worry-free. we all have this idea that as much as possible we want the kids to be the perfect little angels. but really, isn't the idea of perfect kind of boring? there isn't much to keep you on your toes and expecting the unexpected. personally, i don't find that fun at all.

i have two toddlers, two different personalities, two quirks, two likes and dislikes. so, what would help in raising them to be separate happy kids most of the time? has a few tips to share to mommies.

Learn to read the signs
Make room for fun
Help them develop their talents
Healthy bodies equal happy children
Let them struggle with problems
Allow them to be sad or mad
Be a role model
Teach them to do meaningful things

here are my own thoughts on the tips:

1. learn to read the signs:
> kids aren't expression deprived individuals. if you're in tune with your kid, you'll know what makes them happy, sad, fearful, etc. i remember kyle has this great fear for this novelty item, which we call poopoo man. it's literally a man sitting on a toilet bowl and with a face that's trying to push out one big chunk of poo. (think constipation).

we as parents should also know when to play with the kids. kids also want their own quiet time. a time for themselves in their own little world. i would often catch the two side by side playing but doing two different things, minus the fighting.

2. make room for fun:
> there's always a time in injecting fun no matter the situation. especially during mealtimes. what i do is, we do pretend play. my mom would often frown upon this since this is not within her parameters of table manners. it's not that we throw around food or whatever but we make use of the moment to come up with games, songs, stories etc to get kyle to eat, especially if he's having a bad day. this does not apply to keon for now since he's up for eating - anytime.

3. help them develop their talents:
> this is what i noticed with kyle and keon when it comes to their talents. kyle has this ability to get the melodies of songs after hearing it twice and tries to get the lyrics right and sometimes makes up his own. he also has the potential when it comes to memorizing songs, info etc. he may not show that he's listening but when you ask him, he gets it right.

keon on the other hand, at 1 and a half has showed interest in cars, and other modes of transportation. as long as it got wheels, he's going to study it and its details. same as his kuya, he has the talent in picking up things quickly.

so what we do is as much as possible expose them to the things they like and introduce them to different alternatives that would interest them as well. so far, things are doing great. i'm just happy that the kids are very much open to educational toys we give them. And of course, encouragement is key, you may not like what your child chose as a talent but, it’s better to nurture than to repress.

4. healthy bodies equal happy children:
> i think there's no need to expound on this. we mothers want the best for the kids and it’s non negotiable when it comes to providing the healthiest meals for the kids. But personally, I let them indulge in junk food once in a while so as not to deprive them.

5. let them struggle with problems:
> i totally agree on this. this helps in nurturing their independence and thinking. It may be heartbreaking for you to see your little tot, cry out in frustration and run to you for help. But sometimes, we just have to let them go and let them figure it out for themselves.

6. allow them to be sad or mad:

> yes, kids have feelings too and they need to vent out the same way as we do. Let them get mad, let them get sad. It’s ok. But the key here is to be there for your child to explain why they’re feeling that way and what they can do about it. It’s better to acknowledge the emotion rather than letting it be and leaving your child clueless to what he/she is feeling.

7. be a role model:

> a constant reminder from every parenting blog, website or even book would say that our kids will mirror our actions. When they see us do things, good or bad, for them it’s ok since they see mommy or daddy doing it. So as parents we have to be careful of our own actions in front of the kids. Worrying why your kid may be hitting other people? It might be this one instance when he/she saw you hitting hubby or your sibling. Kids are mimics, great ones at that, so if we want to instill good values and behavior, it should start with us.

8. teach them to do meaningful things:

> it may be the simplest birthday card, or a school project, as long as they put their hearts into it, it becomes the most wonderful creation ever. Our kids should know that in doing things, it should be from the heart, 100% meant or else it would show. Kids should be taught to think of others especially those who are not that well off compared to them, involve them in charity work as early as now. As what the elders would say: marunong lumugar.

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