1. Walk the talk — always set a great example.
It’s not what you say, it’s how you live your life every day. Don’t tell your children how to live; LIVE and let them watch you. Practice what you preach or don’t preach at all. Walk the talk. Your children look up to you and they will emulate your actions and strive to become who you are. So BE who you want them to be.
2. Reduce YOUR stress, and thus the stress level in the household.
Not easy, I know, but believe it or not what children want from their parents more than anything else is for them to be happier and less stressed.
3. Believe in your children.
The greatest compliment you can give to a child is to believe in them and let them know you care. When you see something true, good and beautiful in them, don’t hesitate to express your admiration. When you see something that is not true, good and beautiful in them, don’t neglect to give them your wholehearted assistance and guidance. The simple act of believing that your child is capable and worthy makes a big difference. It gives them confidence and makes them feel qualified to do great things.
4. Praise your children for their effort, not their intelligence.
Based on the point above, this might sound a bit counterintuitive, but when you praise a child’s efforts you are bringing attention to something they can easily control — the amount of effort they put in. This is immensely important because it teaches them to persist, and that personal growth through hard work is possible. They come to see themselves as “in control” of their success in life. With that said, a word to the wise: Don’t over-praise your children for no reason. Make sure your gestures of praise are warranted. Because if every single move your child makes is based only on rewards like constant praise, when the praise stops, the effort stops too. And that’s not good because it means they won’t be able to perform well when you’re not around. 5. Don’t read TO your children, read WITH them. Got a youngster who’s learning to read? Don’t let them just stare at the pictures in a book while you do all the work by reading every word to them. Instead, call attention to the words. Point to them. Point to the pictures that illustrate them. Read WITH them, not to them.
6. Eat dinner together as a family.
Eating dinner together makes a difference. According to The Secrets of Happy Families, children who have dinner with their families do better across pretty much every conceivable metric. “A recent wave of research shows that children who eat dinner with their families are less likely to drink, smoke, do drugs, get pregnant, become depressed, and develop eating disorders.”
7. Create logical, reasonable rules and boundaries for your children.
Children don’t do well in a free-for-all environment. It’s a myth that being too strict guarantees rebellion and being permissive drives better behavior. From the research we’ve done, it’s clear that children who go crazy and get in trouble mostly have parents who don’t set reasonable rules and boundaries. If their parents are loving and accepting no matter what they do — even when they are unruly — children take their parent’s lack of rules as a sign that they don’t really care about them — that they don’t really want the job of being parents in the first place. On the flip side, parents who are consistent in enforcing rules and boundaries are often the same parents who become the closest with their children. According to a Penn State study by Dr. Nancy Darling and Dr. Linda Caldwell, parents that set logical rules pertaining to key principles of influence, and explain why the rules are there, engage more closely with the children and ultimately have a happier, healthier relationship with them.
8. Give your children an opportunity to make healthy peer relationships.
The peer group your children associate with has an enormous effect on their long-term happiness and educational aspirations. As parents, we sometimes only talk to our children about peer pressure when it’s negative, but more often than not, it’s positive. Living in a nice child-friendly neighborhood, going to highly rated schools, and making sure your children associate with the right peers can make a world of difference. Bottom line: As a human being, you are the average of the people you spend the most time with. And that’s why it’s not always where you are in life, but who you have by your side that matters most. The same is true for your children.
9. Make sure your children get enough sleep every night.
A tired mind is rarely constructive or content. And it’s even worse for children than it is for adults. According to the insightful book,NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children, missing an hour of sleep turns a sixth grader’s brain into that of a fourth grader. Even a loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to the loss of two years of cognitive development to the typical child.
10. Help your children maintain a gratitude journal.
In 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently,Angel and I discuss the powerful benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. And the good news is, it works for children too. Bottom line: Children who keep a gratitude journal are happier, more optimistic, and healthier. As soon as your child is old enough, help them start one. Read more: via 10 Proven Ways To Raise Smarter Happier Children – Motivational Schools.