20 ground rules for raising happy children

Raising happy and successful children is not easy, but that does not mean it is impossible. On the contrary, psychologists all over the world say that you should follow some important tips to raise your children to be happy. Yes, it is not always possible to follow this advice, but it will get easier with time. The most important thing is to start, and not to stop. 

1. Learn to listen to your children 

1. Learn to listen to your children 

Disagreements between children and parents are caused by the fact that the older ones do not know how to listen to the younger ones. When a child says something, they may be interrupted or told that it is not interesting. Once or twice, the child will no longer want to talk to their parents. But this is wrong. Parents need to be able to listen without interrupting or inserting their own opinions. Learn to build a dialogue with your child. You can do this anywhere: at home, on the way to school, in the shop. 

2. Ask children questions 

Children usually ask parents questions, but the opposite should also be true. Parents need to know how the child’s day is going, what they have learned at school, what they are doing after school. They should be interested in how the child is feeling and ask if they liked the food they have cooked or not. This will show the child that he or she is taken into account and that his or her opinion is taken into account. 

3. Never give advice without asking. 

If a child doesn’t ask for advice, you don’t need to give it. Instead, you can make it easier for the child to tell you how he/she wants the situation to be resolved. For example you could ask what you would like to do. Then he or she will be able to give you advice. 

4. Don’t use a cautionary tone 

4. Don't use a cautionary tone 

Children should be treated as equals. You don’t have to continually lecture them, point out their shortcomings or make a lesson out of every conversation. In time, no child will want to talk to a parent who is constantly belittling and preaching. 

5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Children always learn from the example of their parents. If parents are perfect, every fall will be an even bigger blow to the child. Children need to see that parents make mistakes and then get up again and go on to their goals. The child must understand that mistakes help to get better, that without mistakes there will be no development. 

6. Teach your child to cook 

He will thank you for it later when he goes to university and moves to a dormitory. Even if he does not move, it will still save a lot of money as he will eat homemade food, not fast food several times a day. Not only the daughter should know how to cook, but the son should also have cooking skills. So try to instil in them a love of cooking from a young age.  

7. Teach your child to search for information 

7. Teach your child to search for information 

Very often parents prefer to answer their children’s questions themselves, rather than teach them how to find answers to their questions. This is much easier now than decades ago. Before, you had to study encyclopaedias and read books to find the information you wanted. Now you just have to type in a search and get an answer. But even that modern children don’t want to do. They find it easier to ask Mum or Dad. Try not to answer all questions. Let the child realise that you have to rely on yourself, because mum and dad can’t always tell you. 

8. Teach children how to tidy up 

Children call doing chores a chore. But this is only because their parents force them to do something and you just need to divide up the responsibilities. For example, a child will know that he has to clean up after meals, make the bed in the morning and dust once a week. In doing so, he will see that mum fulfils her responsibilities. 

9. Don’t forget to thank your child 

A child needs to hear from their parents saying thank you. Firstly, he will know that his work is appreciated and secondly, he will learn to appreciate the work of others. When something is done for him/her, he/she will thank for it.

10. Play with children 

10. Play with children 

Childhood is for children to play and not to think about anything serious. However, parents rarely take part in their children’s play. This causes parents and children to drift apart. You need to be able to play with children, and the crazier the games, the better. Sometimes you can afford to put on a superhero costume and go to the shop to match your child, who has chosen to walk around that day dressed as his or her favourite movie character. 

11. Spend time together 

Go to the movies, theatres, visits and the pool together. Many children don’t even know that you can go to the cinema with your parents, but it’s normal. Devote a lot of time to your child and keep it separate: time for activities, lessons, social activities and fun activities. 

12. Go out a lot with your child 

Fresh air and nature are essential for children at any age. It’s not for nothing that paediatricians recommend that you take your baby outdoors as soon as you leave the hospital. The older your baby gets, the more he/she needs fresh air. Try to go for walks with him and think of interesting outdoor activities to do each time. For example, you can go horseback riding or you can go camping. 

13. Teach your child to be respectful of nature 

13. Teach your child to be respectful of nature 

A child should know not to pick flowers or damage flowerbeds, trees or plants. They should know not to hurt animals, hit them or throw stones at them. Teach your child to respect nature, which is so multifaceted and beautiful. 

14. Teach children to have compassion for others 

Compassion is one of the most important human qualities and it is important to instil this quality in your child from an early age. For example, feed a stray dog or a cat together. Start small and gradually introduce your child to the world. He should know that there are children who have no parents and no home. Teach him/her to share toys and to give them to those in need. Let children know from an early age what charity is. 

15. Tell your child about his/her childhood 

Make sure you tell your child what he/she was like as a child, how he/she behaved and what was the first word he/she said. Show them baby pictures and tell them what they are doing in each one. Maybe some of the pictures were taken in a funny situation. Let the child know about his childhood.

16. Tell the child about what you were like as a child

16. Tell the child about what you were like as a child

Share stories from your childhood with your child. Let them know what qualities you had. Do not be silent about the negative traits. Tell them how you disobeyed your parents sometimes. If you only tell the positive things, the child may develop a complex.

17. Tell the child about their relatives 

The child will get closer to their grandparents if they know how they met, how they got married. The more information your child has about family members, the better. Then they will appreciate their family members more and want to spend more time with them. And most importantly, he/she will understand what a family should be like, what the values should be. 

18. Share your plans for the future 

Make sure you tell your child about your goals and plans for the future. This will help your child learn how to make goals for itself. Also tell your child how to reach these goals. For example, if he wants a new toy, then advise him to earn it: let him clean the room every day for a week. Then he will appreciate the toy even more. 

19. Praise your child

19. Praise your child

Don’t forget to praise your child. As a rule, children often hear rebukes and are pointed out for mistakes, but praise is rare. Therefore, if the child has made a mistake, you need to remind him/her that he/she is not always wrong, that he/she is doing a lot of right things. You need to remind him or her that he or she has recently done a good thing.

20. Smile when you see your child 

When your child runs to you after waking up, he wants to see you happy and cheerful. Make sure you show it. Even if you have been in a bad mood in the morning, your child will not be affected.  

Do you follow these guidelines? What other tips can you share?

About the author