Happy Children – Thinking Positively, Is it Having Positive Effects on Your Children?

“Cheer up!” “Don’t worry. Be happy.” “Put a smile on your face; make the world a better place.” “The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters.”

We tell our children, “Don’t be sad, and it’ll be okay! “There are children songs dedicated to turning frowns upside down by chasing the frowns away. What do these messages have in common? What are we teaching our children?

Like many, I was raised to think positively, keep my chin up, and to be happy. I felt as though I was on a constant quest to find happiness in everything around me. If we are always on a quest to seek out happiness, are we ever really happy?

New Idea to Happy

In a recent yoga class, the teacher challenged me with a new idea. She said, “What if the world were to boycott happiness for a year?” My first reaction was, “This girl is out of her mind!” But then she continued by saying, “What if instead of trying to be happy, we just lived wholly?” This concept resonated with me – especially when it comes to parenting.

I remember times when my son would trip and fall, or he would be sad about something – when I would go to comfort him, I would say things like, “It’s okay!” or “It’ doesn’t look that bad!” or even, “You’ll be fine – just walk it off.”

Instead of validating his pain or feelings, I was telling him to ignore the pain and to be okay for my selfish reasons. I learned in school how this could affect children. Kids learn to bury their feelings deep down, and like the Disney movie Inside Out teaches us how catastrophic that can be.

Therefore, consider this, instead of invalidating our children’s feelings, we asked them questions about how they were feeling? Where were they experiencing the pain? And what they need?

In conclusion, what if instead of telling them to be happy, we taught them to live wholly?

Child Therapist 801.901.0279

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