By: Eliza Najar
What Makes A Child Grow Into A Happy Adult?
You might believe that giving your kids the best academic education sets them up for success which eventually leads to a happy adult life. Hence, most of the parents do their best to get them into the top schools and colleges. However, eventually, you realise that happiness in adult life cannot be measured in terms of your academic achievements. If success is the key to a happy adult life, why are we all fighting to live a life free of stress and anxiety? It is high time that we introspect the past for the betterment of our future. What makes a child grow into a happy adult? Close relationships are the key Over a long period of 80 years, Harvard researchers have studied the lives of two groups of men through all these years and the findings prove startling factors which are a key to living a healthy and happy life. What do you think would the findings suggest? The study reveals that it is not wealth, fame or success but our close relationships which determine how happy we are in our lives. It is these close ties that act as shock absorbers during adversity and help to keep us mentally and physically stable. The study found that men’s lives were strongly correlated to their relationships with family, friends and the community around them. The people who were content with their relationships were healthier compared to the ones who were not. This research reminds us that though we all love our children and want them to have a healthy and happy life, we might fail to set our priorities right. Let’s teach our children to build strong relationships. Spend time together as a family, so that they feel a sense of belongingness, and learn the importance of relationships. Encourage your kids to play with friends. Children end up making lifelong friends with kids they play with at school, at home or in camps. Let them express their emotions Listen patiently and help them get along with people, when they complain they can’t. As parents, we can lay the foundation for their happy life by helping them connect with the people around them. When you spend time with your kids and listen to them, it makes them feel loved and helps build a confidence in them. On the other hand, when you stop them from expressing their emotions in moments of distress, they bottle it inside which eventually leads to frustration in adult life. Do you allow your children to express their sadness or discontent? If your answer no, then it is time to change the way you help them handle their frustration. Encourage your child to recognise their emotions and accept it as a part of life. If you allow them to vent out their emotions and make them realise that it is alright to be upset sometimes, they grow up to be happy adults who can over their temporary feelings of sadness and anxiety. Allow them to make their own choices Another question worth asking yourself is - are you allowing your children to make their own choices and follow their interests? Studies suggest that children grow up to be focused and disciplined individuals when parents allow them to make their own decisions. As parents, we might unintentionally burden the kids with our expectations. Give your children the freedom to follow their passion. Adults who enjoy the work they are doing are happier than their colleagues who don’t. Help your children explore their natural inclination and enhance their strength by providing them with an environment conducive to learning. Help them indulge in acts of kindness Whether or not, we find meaning or purpose in our lives also determines our happiness as adults. Research reveals that kids who indulge in acts of kindness and generosity, which makes a difference in the lives of others, feel happier about themselves. Encourage children to empathize with peers and help them. Even something as small as helping parents with household chores can make them feel happy and add value to their lives. Research suggests that giving makes people happier than receiving something. Many studies have shown that people who give money to charity or spend it on others feel happier about it than spending it on themselves. Happy parents raise happy children Even though you try your best to nurture your kids in a way that they grow up to be happy adults, your happiness is what truly makes a difference in their lives. If you stop by and express your appreciation for the little wonders in your daily life, your kid will learn the same. Be it picking strawberries in the garden or building mud castles on the beach, teach them to be thankful for every beautiful moment of their life. People who practice gratitude on a regular basis are healthier and happier as adults. Young children see parents as their first role model. Being a happy parent is the secret to raising a happy child. And only a happy child can grow up to be a happy adult.