Can you teach children to be happy?
As a professional I have enjoyed every role and project I have had the pleasure of taking part in or creating. On many occasions I have been asked by relatives, colleagues, parents and students "why are you always so happy?". On reflection I am aware that this can be slightly annoying to those who feel deflated or defeated but I also began to recognise at a very young age that another persons outlook on life is their own choice and non of my business.
I believe that from a very young age children can make choices and choose whether or not to be happy by encouraging them to foster positive habits..... don't worry if your all grown up there is still hope for you too. With my own children and the 100s of children I have taught to be emotionally healthy I have encouraged the use of 7 very simple steps, repeating the steps causes them to become a habit which in turn reflects the image of a person being "always so happy".
My beliefs have recently been reinforced after I got to meet Neil Baldwin at a school opening event. A 60 something guy who would in today's school terms be described as having learning difficulties. He has a very simplistic, trusting out look on life and states that he wanted to live a happy life so chooses to do so.
Due to his outlook and fun spirit his list of things that have made him happy is endless.... from celebrity friends like Gary Lineker, securing a job with his favorite football team Stoke City, dinner at the House of Commons to his most recent triumph of having his life turned into a film "Marvelous".
So yes I do believe you can teach children how to be happy.... firstly by ensuring that as the adult I model certain steps. I then use these steps in every possible daily experience with my own children and those that I provide an education for.
Happy habits start with viewing life as an ADVENTURE each barrier is just a puzzle to be solved and overcome. BELIEVE that those around us want to help us achieve a positive end goal. This step comes with safety precautions for children but emphases a supportive, community attitude rather than wasting time and energy on assuming people are deceitful or have an alternative motive. By tuning our observations into the good things that we can APPRECIATE we counter act the hurtful, destructive, bad experiences that are often thrown at us by using much stronger resilience. CELEBRATE unique qualities together and refrain from being jealous of what others have or are able to do. LET GO of the barriers stopping you from being the most incredible version of yourself. I teach children to see that barriers are there to help them prove how much they want to achieve their goal- if something is really easy to achieve then we will miss out on the ADVENTURE. Taking RESPONSIBILITY of our words and actions allows us to move onto the next adventure much quicker preventing any unresolved baggage being left behind. Get into the habit of being EXCITED about the future, its important to teach children to plan for tomorrow and not waste time dwelling over the past or complaining about how they have been hard done by.
If you have any questions on how to "choose to be Happy" or how to "teach children to be happy" please get it touch