Want Happier Kids?
Stop trying to make them happy all the time
Sounds counterintuitive I know! But if we are always "rescuing" them when things don't go their way, they don't learn to tolerate distress.
Validate their feelings and let them work it out
· Kids need to feel understood and listened too.
· Say, "oh that makes you feel sad when you don't get the pink cup. Maybe you’ll have it next time."
· Be sincere!!
· Limits help kids feel safe.
· They may not like them in the moment, but they will feel happier in the long run.
Give choices you can live with
· It's tempting to say things like, "if you don't stop throwing that toy, I will throw it away!" And it's an expensive toy so you have no intention of throwing it away!
· Instead say, "I know you wanted to throw that in the house. It will break something. Feel free to throw it outside or have it put away for the night" then if they test you and throw it. Even just a little bit….
· TAKE IT AWAY.
Give lots of positive attention when they are behaving:
· We tend to really pay attention to our kids when they are misbehaving and ignore them when they are behaving. Try doing the opposite!
· Don't try to control everything they do
· Kids are learning to do all sorts of tasks.
· Give them some freedom to explore and try new things.
· You're going to have to be okay with some mess and dirty kiddos.
Check your behavior
· Are you ordering, scolding or walking around with a scowl on your face.
· Kids are masters at imitation.
· It's okay to feel sad and mad, but try not to live there all day everyday.
When to seek help
· Please call a therapist if you are feeling so depressed or anxious you are not functioning very well. This includes:
· If you can’t get out of bed in the morning and attend to your kid's needs.
· If you are yelling and losing your temper most of the day
· It is normal to feel overwhelmed. But if your mood and behavior are interfering with daily living, please get help. You will be helping yourself and your kids!
*If you have thoughts of suicide, call 911 or go to an emergency room.