Happiness is something we want in our home and raising happy children is also something we hope to achieve – yet we all know that it is hard to control happiness! Fortunately, the parenting principles to raising a happy child also works to foster happiness in marriage – let’s explore these 5 tips!
Tip 1 – Everyone in the Home is responsible for their Own Happiness
No one can force happiness on another person and everyone in the home is responsible for his own. As a spouse, we can put this in practice in our marriage – for instance, you can choose not to get upset over division of chores but work out the situation amiably with your spouse. An unhappy incident should not be pouted over and its negativity carried on for days. Being a good model, your child will also learn that he/she can choose to have a positive attitude to life. Planning time to relax, removing activities from your family weekend schedule but allocating more time to spend with each other can possibly contribute to an environment of joy and peace. Remember always, that your marriage is the foundation of your family.
Tip 2 – Freedom of Expression (of Feelings)
Similar to not forcing happiness on anyone, we also cannot force others not to show their negative feelings. If you are unhappy, you will want your spouse to show concern (instead of forcing you to look happy). Similarly, if your child is upset, take the time to ask what has happened. Parenting experts also warn that parents shouldn’t dictate or condemn the child for expressing his/her feelings which may lead to feelings being bottled up. On the other hand, it is not about encouraging tantrums. Instead, when we feel safe and trust the other family member, we are more likely to share our deepest thoughts and emotions.
Tip 3 – Everyone, Get to Bed Early!
Children who lack sufficient sleep get easily irritated, exhibit mood swings, grouchy or not able to focus. This is hardly surprising, after all, it is the same for adults! Depending on the age of your child, he may need from about 8 to 14 hours of sleep. For adults, try to get 7 hours of sleep. Enjoy a bedtime routine with your child, your spouse and all lights off or dimmed and no electronic device at night.
Tip 4 – Give Praise
We all need it – the wife, the husband and the child all appreciate another family member noticing a job well done. When praising your child, be sure that i) you are not praising something that is not praise-worthy and ii) you are praising the effort, not the result. Studies have shown that toddlers who get encouragement when taking on challenging tasks (for their age) are more likely to master more difficult tasks when they are older. For your spouse, it’s usually not enough praise. Start praising your family members and you may just notice a whole chain of positive actions that follow!
Tip 5 – Gratitude
Sometimes adults miss this too – we have a lot to be thankful for but instead focuses on what is out of reach. Take a few minutes every day (meal time or bed time) to give thanks for all that you have been glad to receive or happy to have gone smoothly for the day. When your spouse does something nice for you, express gratitude. Having a thankful attitude will soon catch on in your home.
Start putting the above tips to action and observe the positive effects and happiness in your home!