“I had a very happy childhood, which is unsuitable if you're going to be an Irish writer.” ~ Maeve Binchy

Most parents want their children to be smart as well as happy, while some have more specific dreams for their kids. Regardless of which category you prefer, every parent wants the best for his kids, so that the future of society is aggrandized.

Kids don’t come with a “How To” manual, so you and I are free to do our level best for our kids. Here are some ideas that might help to contribute to your smart and happy child.

“Be” What You Want Them to Become. You know they may oppose you, but when they become mature, you’ll recognize your mannerisms built into them automatically. Without preaching, you can set their standards by the way you live your daily life, because they are watching you. Preaching truly does go “to the choir.” Doing goes to their hearts. If you want to see a change in your child, model it for him. Be someone they can emulate and admire.

Eat Meals Together. Your example and your expectations continue to vibrate forward during family meals, and eating meals together encourages greater success and less bad behavior. If your family schedules can’t make this work, set aside one meal each week when this is honored. Watch the TV series “Blue Bloods” and see what gets resolved around their table.

How Can You Show Your Kids Less Stress? Kids who grow up in a home where stress is the norm, aren’t as happy and successful. So, whatever it takes, figure out ways to bring more peace and harmony in the home. Keep arguments for private times. Pace your tasks to eliminate hurry and worry. Not easy, I know, but believe it or not what children want from their parents more than anything else is for them to be happier and less stressed.

Love, Honor and Respect Your Kids. If you don’t back your kids up 100% of the time, who will? Tell them when you see them doing something good. Teach them a better way when you see them faltering. Tell your child “I know you can do this.” That alone will give them the confidence to try. Think of your child as top-notch and gifted, and your expectations will play out in their behavior from nothing more than your beliefs and expectations about them.

Applaud Giving It Their All. When you see your kid working hard at something, this is the time for a pat on the back. This has nothing to do with the end result – the grade, the contest results, the score of the game, etc. It has only to do with their effort. And if they take a nose dive, encourage them to give it another go, because each effort they make, will strengthen them and get them to the conclusion. Note: this is not about getting good grades. It’s about trying to. You can teach them about perseverance, courage, and stick-to-itiveness.

Sit Down and Read with Your Kids. Point with your finger to the picture and the word that represents the picture. They’ll begin to make the association. If you’re reading to them specifically because you’re nurturing their future ability to read, it really helps them when that time arrives. Stories before bed, for example, make such happy childhood memories, and they won’t even realize they’re being taught pre-reading skills.

About Boundaries. A story was printed in Reader’s Digest about a school where the playground fence was removed prior to being replaced. Those children all played at the center of the playground. Once the new fence was in place, they moved to playing at it’s inner edge. Why, you might be thinking? Kids love boundaries. They interpret boundaries as being cared about. It’s not enough to set boundaries and enforce them, but if you want to become your kids friend, you’ve got to explain the “Why” behind the boundaries or you’ll end up with little rebels.

Encourage Your Kid’s Friendships. We hear a lot about negative peer pressure, but it’s the positive peer pressure that is so helpful for your kids. Having neighbors who love kids helps them develop. Attending a good school is another big help, and their friends can become a huge support. The influences your kid gets from you, his family, and – important here – his friends helps him to become who he is. Think about how your friends support you. Like that.

Good School Performance Needs Adequate Sleep. They may not like it. They may fight to stay awake longer. But there is a correlation between school success and how long children sleep. A mind that hasn’t fully refreshed can’t do as good a job as one that has. Explain that and be firm about that boundary. It may help to decide on a time when they can have more of a role in extending that boundary…say, high school.

Tech them Conscious Gratitude. If you can help your children to become consciously grateful for the little things in their life, or if you can do a Family Gratitude Journal daily, all of the family members will be more optimistic, get sick less, and be happier in general. Happy, well-nurtured children will automatically find their own path as they mature, and gratitude goes a long way here. Although our world seems to demand high performance, happiness must also be woven into such success.
Wishing you happiness with your children.

Author's Bio: 

Maria Khalifé, expert in holistic, motivational living, teaches powerful, life-changing techniques. Universal principles sustain her revolutionary methods of coaching, speaking and teaching. Certified at the Ford Institute in San Diego, Maria leads others in accelerated growth on The Path through The Change Coaching Institute. http://www.changecoachinginstitute.com