By Leslie Campos
Every parent wants their children to be happy. Giving your kids a happy home life will set them up for a healthy, successful future. But how can you help your child’s happiness flourish as they grow up? As it turns out, raising your children to be successful, confident, and empathetic can help them develop the skills they need to get along with their peers and cope with setbacks as they progress through life. Here are some key tips to help you foster these skills in your own kids.
Raising happy, healthy kids starts with caring for your own mental and physical well-being. Try to carve out time from your busy parenting life to practice self-care. Eat healthy foods, maintain a regular exercise routine, make sure you get enough sleep and spend time doing activities you love. Even shopping can become a healthy self-care practice! Don’t feel guilty about treating yourself to a few things that will make your life easier and a little more comfortable. For example, some supportive maternity clothing can make a huge difference in how you feel during pregnancy and postpartum. Especially if you’re carrying around a baby and chasing after a toddler.
Balance Structured and Unstructured Playtime
It’s no secret that kids love playtime. Whatever the age of your kids, make sure they get a good balance of structured and unstructured playtime. As Verywell Family explains, structured play is play with some kind of purpose or learning objective. Structured play activities can be used to teach everything from fine motor skills to complex mathematical concepts. There are endless ways to encourage structured play at home. Start a new hobby together, break out the board games, or follow an online crafting tutorial. You could even build a playground in your backyard!
Just remember that unstructured play is important too. Unstructured play is described as children-led, improvised play. During unstructured playtime, kids use their imaginations to invent games and create unique activities. Unstructured play is great for keeping your kids entertained during long, rainy weekends when you run out of activity ideas. At the same time, it fosters the development of creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
Spend Time Outside
Spending time with your kids outside is an excellent chance to instill an appreciation for nature and physical exercise. Unfortunately, kids seem to be spending less and less time outside in recent years. Encourage your kids to get out into the fresh air and explore nature from a young age. And you can even take it farther from home. Whether it’s a bike trail, a walking path, the zoo or even a playground, find ways to help them get outside. If you’re toting a toddler around on your family outings, consider getting a lightweight, affordable umbrella stroller in case they wear out easily.
Teach Interpersonal Skills
Children who are brought up with good interpersonal skills have an easier time making friends, taking on leadership roles, and building professional connections later in life. Teaching interpersonal skills will give your kids the confidence they need to succeed at school and in their future careers!
One great way to support your children’s social skills is by teaching them how to listen to others. Communication games are a fantastic way to practice this. Additionally, try modeling empathy and showing respect when talking to your kids. Setting a good example will help your kids learn how to behave when interacting with others!
Being a parent is a continuous learning process. We’re always looking for new ways to make our children happy and help them grow up into healthy, well-adjusted adults.
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Above Photo image via Pexels