Parenting is a tremendous responsibility, and amidst a global pandemic, there are challenges that families are needing to adapt to. Regardless, we know that there is one thing that parents collectively want for their children, and that is for them to be happy. During COVID-19, there is a heightened focus on the happiness and wellbeing of the younger generation and parents are striving to ensure that their child remains connected and happy.
When a person leads a happy childhood, it helps to prepare them for a successful and fulfilling adult life. Andrew Fuller, leading clinical psychologist who specialises in the wellbeing of children, advises that happiness is something that we can learn and practice. He highlights various ways that we can lead happy lives and we’ll take a look at some practical ideas for parents in raising a happy child during a pandemic.
The Notion of Positive Thinking
A positive mindset certainly does help when it comes to being happy, and Andrew reminds us that we should always put ourselves in the right mindset to think positively. If you start the day thinking that you’re not going to have a good day, then your mind is preset to think that this will be true. It’s similar to the saying, ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right.’ In addition, if we think positively as adults, then there is hope that this will transfer to children.
Play Until Your Heart is Content
Play time helps our brains to reset and for children, it allows time to burn off some energy and to just have fun! Parents also need time to collect their thoughts and joining in when children are playing is a great way for the whole family to share special memories.
It’s recommended that regular breaks are taken during class time or whilst learning from home and getting some fresh air is all the more better for everyone where restrictions permit!
Nurture Friendships and Relationships
True friends are there for the long haul and teaching children that friendships are a two-way street helps them to develop meaningful and respectful relationships.
Having strong connections offers a sense of belonging and this has become increasingly important during a pandemic, where face-to-face contact has been somewhat limited for some people.
Find Your People
Children should be encouraged to surround themselves with people who believe in them and who accept them for who they are. Having fun with friends is important for children and this involves finding common interests.
Your child may have a large group of friends or a handful of close friends; either way, let them know that they don’t necessarily need to be friends with everyone – as long as they have a couple of friends who they can rely on, and vice-versa, then this is more than adequate.
Laugh Out Loud
Laughter really is the best medicine. Work with your child to find things that they enjoy and allow them to have a good time. Laughter is known to reduce stress levels and is a good way for the body to relax. Laughing makes children and adults alike feel better and helps people to connect with one another, which are both important during a pandemic.
Tips on What Not To Do to Avoid Being Miserable
There are some common mistakes that can be made in the search for happiness and to avoid being miserable, Andrew
- Continually compare yourself to others.
- Allow others to control your life.
- Always try to please others, at the detriment to your own happiness.
- Have no faith in love because you’re scared of rejection.
- Convince yourself not to do the things you want to do.
- Believe that you’re not deserving of being happy.
- Say ‘yes’ when you really mean ‘no’.
Teaching children to be true to themselves is important for how they perceive themselves and the world around them. As happiness can be mastered, so too can being miserable. Let’s all strive for happiness above all else!
Our Educators at before and after school care have been supporting children during the pandemic and tailor each service for the children attending. The tailored programming ensures that children are challenged with activities that they can enjoy with their friends.