- Replace Your Kids' Annoying Behaviors with Happiness Habits
Some of the most irritating things our kids do (whining and tattling come to mind) are nothing more than bad habits, and as we all know, bad habits are tough to break! Science has shown that people who are successful in making changes do it in 5 very specific stages.
- Nip Materialism in the Bud
As we emerge from a season of gluttony and consumption, let's refocus our kids on the things that really do create happiness.
- Teach Your Kids How to Fight
Conflict is entirely necessary for intellectual, emotional, and even moral growth. However, kids don't know how to settle disputes constructively until we teach them.
- Foster Forgiveness
Unforgiving people tend to be hateful, angry, and hostile—which also makes
them anxious, depressed, and neurotic. So unless we are okay with our children embodying those qualities, we need to teach them how and why to forgive others.
- Eat Dinner Together
Even if you are crazy busy, eating together is important for kids' success and happiness. Mealtime can be a routine rich with meaning that combines the basic human needs of emotional nurturance and physical nutrition.
- Cancel Your Cable
Television brings little or no benefits, but it replaces activities that do make kids happier, healthier, and smarter.
- Cultivate Creativity
Contrary to popular belief, creativity is more skill than inborn talent, and it is a skill parents can help their kids develop. Because it is a key to success in nearly everything we do, creativity is a key component of success and happiness.
- Just Say No to Perfectionism
A lot of people incorrectly assume that perfectionism propels kids to the top of their class, their teams, and eventually their fields. But to the contrary, research shows that perfectionism tends to detract from success.
- Be Like Obama: Breed Hope
Optimism is so closely related to happiness that the two can practically be equated. And guess what? Optimism is a teachable skill.
- Consciously Practice Gratitude
I think this is the most important happiness habit in the history of the universe.
Speaking of gratitude: I am very grateful to have completed my first year as a blogger! Writing this blog is among the most satisfying things I've ever done, and so I'm so thankful to all of you who read and comment and ask questions. I am also eternally grateful to Kelly Corrigan, who helped me launch Half Full in late 2007 (see these videos).
My New Year's Resolutions? One is to do a better job responding to your emails and questions. So send 'em my way!
© 2008 Christine Carter, Ph.D.
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