Happiness and positivity can make a huge difference to your child’s wellbeing and achievement.
In the first blog in our life skills series, we take a look at what affirms happiness and how you can help your child to be happier as they face the challenges they meet daily. It is important to note we're not talking about short-term happiness here - the kind generated by a new toy, an ice cream or the promise of more time on their iPad - but moreover how we can secure long-term happiness and fulfilment in our children, the kind that will keep them happy day to day, week to week, and ultimately lead them into a happy adulthood.
Research has time and again shown that once a child’s basic needs of food, shelter and clothing are met, that wealth and the accumulation of possessions does not lead to higher levels of happiness. So as parents, how can we foster long-term happiness? Read on as we delve into this intriguing topic.
Share your passions. Doing things that we are passionate about brings out the best in us. Make sure you find time for your passions and share them with your children so that they see you doing things you enjoy. How happy parents are directly affects how happy and successful their children are. Whether it’s sports, culture or nature, developing a love for something away from their academic life is key for happy children.
Follow their passions. Find ways of saying yes to their passions. It can be difficult if there is a lot of homework to do, dinner and bedtime. However, by the time we are teenagers, academic schooling can, if not checked, make us forget about the things we were once passionate about. Encourage your children to stick with the things they show real passion, not just talent, for.
Look on the bright side. Optimism is a powerful tool and life skill that can be learnt, even for those natural born pessimists! We may be in the midst of troubling times, but the simple task of listing three things you are thankful for each day can make a big difference in generating an optimistic outlook on your life - and it’s never too young to start!
The value of empathy. Empathy is integral to a child’s current and future success, happiness and well-being. Learning to see the world through someone else’s eyes and caring about what the other person feels and experiences are valuable life skills and will help a child build stronger friendships. Encouraging children to perform small acts of kindness will build empathy, and will make them happier. In the performing environment, students depend on each other in a way few other activities do and we find our students forge deep and long lasting friendships with each other.
Whatever their age, help your children to realise their potential. Whilst academic skills will always remain important, it is crucial to give as much emphasis to developing life skills as academic achievement. It is not useful anymore to just know things, we have to be able to apply them. Being good problem solvers, decision makers, creative thinkers, communicators, being self aware, empathetic, coping with emotions and dealing with stress are all skills which as adults, are the skills that determine our potential much more than academic prowess.
At Simply Theatre our values are being passionate about what we do and what we share, providing a professional environment and approach to all students, and nurturing students towards their potential. We believe these are the experiences that will really help our students grow up being happy. As parents, we must keep the importance and value of happiness at the front of our minds. Easier said than done when you're worrying about homework, exams, what’s for dinner or your own challenges at work. But when we hold our newborn baby in our arms, our first instinct is for them to be happy, and that's something we must hold on to as they get older.