Winston Churchill said, "attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." Mary Engelbreit declared, "if you don't like something, change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it." Although you cannot force anyone to be happy or excited about life, you can set an example of optimism and remind your children that things are only going to get better if they choose to see it that way. It may take time to truly appreciate life, but once you see the change take place in your child, you will know that life truly is good, after all.
The first tip for having happy children is to be a happy parent. Children learn best from those they watch and admire. You may think they do not care or listen, but they do. If you end every day with a sour summary of the dull events that went on in your life, your kids will begin to learn the same routine. Soon a habit will form of focusing on the bad, and that is a hard habit to break. When talking about your day, leave out the messy details or moments of despair. That doesn't mean lie or fake your happiness, but try to be extra careful to be an example of all things good.
It is important to know each of your children, and know them well. If you have no idea what is going on this week in her biology class, ask. If he has a date on Friday, you should probably know a little bit about it. Knowing your children and their lives will help you to encourage, support, and love.
Remind them of their blessings. When your children begin to complain about dishes, laundry or homework, remind them of the many things they have: food on the table, clean clothes, and an education. They may not want to hear it preached from the soap box, but find a way to continually remind them of their circumstances. Take them out to do service; service can fill any Scrooge's heart and make them see the world differently.
Be careful with time. The cause of much grief or negativity often comes from dwelling on the past, wishing or regretting. Alternatively, sorrow can come from looking at the future and feeling overwhelmed. Help your children and family live in the present by forgiving and supporting. The future is unknown and a bit daunting, but you will always be his parent and will always love him. Words of comfort are key, and an example of positive thinking and living is vital.
Jenna Koford is a student studying communications with an emphasis in journalism. Jenna enjoys family time, Christmas, Disney, walks, movies, and rainy days.