Raising Happy Kids

Suzanne Murray
3

 

toddler stuffed animal

Photo by Momof3cuties

 

I just want my daughter to be happy. I don't care if she grows up and gets married or stays single. I don't care if she's a doctor or a sculptor. As long as she's super rich. Kidding. I just want her to be happy, happy, happy.

Thanks to Christine Carter, sociologist, mom and author of Raising Happiness, I'm on my way to making that wish come true (and the solution doesn't involve feeding my toddler—or myself—cupcakes all day).

For a simple starter, Carter recommends asking yourself these two questions:

1. When are you happiest with your kids?

2. What part of the normal day with your family routinely causes suffering?

Then, structure your day so you are getting lots of #1 (routine happiness) and none of #2 (habitual pain).

Carter hated getting her daughters out the door every morning so she restructured the morning routine by slowly changing habits—doing things like choosing outfits and putting shoes by the door the night before—so the mornings weren't so hectic.

Carter's favorite thing was putting her kids to bed at night and talking to them about the day's activities, but sometimes she worked nights, so she switched that moment to after school. She made time to cuddle with her kids on the couch and read a book and talk.

What is your happiest moment of the day with your child? What moment would you like to eliminate for good?

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