Are your kids happy? If you ask parents what they most want for their kids they usually say, “I just want them to be happy.” Happiness definitely makes life better. And happiness seems like an easy goal.
But many things get in the way of kids having a happy life. These days anxiety, anxious feelings, fears and intense emotions are robbing our kids of that happy life. What’s a parent to do?
The first step is to really check out your kid’s happiness level. Check out how they are dealing with their emotions and feelings. It’s so easy to just go about your daily life and never reflect on how they’re doing.
Here are a few signs that your child might need some help in the happiness area. Do they:
- Struggle to make and keep friends?
- Frequently have a negative outlook?
- Show discomfort expressing their emotions?
- Often tell you they’re bored?
- Act out in dramatic ways?
If this sounds like your child or teen, then you can help them! You can guide them in learning how to cope with their big emotions and their behaviors.
Three Considerations ~ Kids, Connections, Parent
You can start out by taking stock in how your child or teen is coping and managing their emotions. It’s a good idea to write down what you’re seeing so that you have a good record. You may start to see patterns and recognize things that trigger them.
At the same time as you’re keeping track of things, begin to have calm conversations with your child or teen about their emotions, feelings, and behaviors. Take time when they are calm to discuss what’s happening during their anxious moments.
Start to introduce coping strategies. Things such as Brain Breaks to help calm their thinking or exercise activities to help them release extra pent up feelings. Battle negative thinking by using positive phrases and finding ways for authentic praise.
If peer relationships are an issue, discuss ways they can develop better friendships. Have them make a list of traits they look for in a good friend. We offer a free guide to help your child to make and keep friends. Look for it here.
Your kids are happier and healthier when they have good connections in their life. This means fostering relationships with peers, other family members, other adults in their life and MOST IMPORTANTLY ~ YOU!
Take time to really look at your relationship with your child. How much time do you spend together where you are really enjoying one another’s company? Or is your time together usually just going somewhere or doing chores or giving them advice?
If you are not spending “fun” time together, then this is a chance for some real change! Make a commitment today to start connecting through doing fun things together. We recommend One-on-One Time where you and your child regularly give one another your undivided attention. You can find out more about it here.
The last piece to helping your child be happier and manage their anxious signs and symptoms is for you to look at your own coping and managing skills. Your kids watch everything you do. If you have struggled with anxiety related issues, then your child has watched how you cope.
Now is the time to open up with them about your coping and let them see your success and your struggle. They will feel much better knowing that what they are dealing with is not abnormal. They might think that no one else really understands what they are experiencing. You can be THE person who gets them!
In this way, you can journey with them as they learn to find ways to cope and manage their own mental health. What a great way to connect with your child.
So, Are Your Kids Happy?
Help your child or teen on the road to a happier life. Teach them skills and strategies for dealing with their big emotions. Help them make strong connections with friends, family, and others in the community. And be open and honest with them about your own emotional health. These practices are key to better parenting.
For more great parenting advice sign up to attend the BLISSFUL Parenting Summit on April 12, 2023. Click the button below to register!
Are Your Kids Happy?
By Lisa Reichelt, M. Ed., Parent Coach