As a parent, there is nothing you want more than to make sure your child is happy. Their contentment and wellbeing, after all, is—in some ways—within your power. Many of these things are within your control. But what makes a happy child? Is it giving into their every whim—and granting them more screen time—or is it about patience, secure attachments, and validating their experiences?

Giving your kids happy, healthy childhoods could set them up for success in life. But many parents wonder, how exactly do you raise happy kids in today’s world? Raising happy kids isn’t about giving them momentary pleasure or immediate gratification. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Happy kids have a skill set that allows them to enjoy long-term happiness in life. They’re able to pass up instant gratification in an effort to reach their goals. You can help your kids develop those skills by adopting healthy, lifelong habits. Here are 5 ways to raise happy kids.


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Your mood and actions affect your child more than you may realize. They’re always learning by observing their surroundings and watching you, the parent. If you often appear sad or angry, they might start to pick up on that and reflect those negative feelings. However, if you change your attitude and express happiness frequently, your child will learn from you and reflect joy instead!


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Even if you struggle with perfectionism, you can’t expect it from your little one. Pressuring them to make achievements can add stress and ultimately lead to unhappiness. But by praising their efforts and celebrating them for trying no matter the outcome, you can boost your child’s self-esteem and mood.


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As adults, we can ease our minds and find happiness in activities like meditation, working out, or enjoying a book. For small children, additional playtime is the perfect equivalent! By encouraging your child to play more, either indoors or outdoors, you’ll notice an immediate increase in their happiness as they unwind and have fun!


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Making new friends is an exciting feeling, especially as a young child. That’s why, whenever possible, you should help your little one make even more connections! One of the best ways to do this is by enrolling them in childcare like, Rising Stride Child Care Centers to socialize with other kids their age.


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Don’t underestimate the power of outdoor play. Running on the grass, climbing trees, sitting on a swing, and digging in the dirt is good for kids. Studies show scents associated with nature, like pine trees, cut grass, and lavender can boost your child’s mood.  So you might encourage your child to read a book outside or do their homework on the porch just to give him an instant boost in happiness.


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Incorporating gratitude into your everyday lives could help kids become happier, healthier people. But, keep in mind that there’s a big difference between forcing a “thank you” and genuinely meaning it.  Make it a family habit to talk about the things you feel grateful for. Identify three things you’re grateful for at the dinner table or talk about what you’re grateful for at bedtime. This will help your children learn to look for things they can be grateful for in their daily lives.

Make it a habit to send thank you notes too. Instead of just signing his name, encourage your child to identify something specific he wants to thank someone for. You don’t have to save thank you notes for gifts either. You might encourage your child to write a thank you note to his teacher for helping him during the school year or you might write a note to a coach who was especially kind.