Eric Barker is the creator of the blog Barking Up the Wrong Tree, and the book of the same name, which presents science-based answers and expert insight on how to be ‘awesome at life’. His work has been mentioned in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, TIME magazine, The Week, and Business Insider.
Barker shows the research backs Gandhi’s assertion that the integrity of who you are as a person is the key to your own happiness. What you think, what you say and what you do have to line up. Furthermore, this means you are the key to your children’s happiness.
Please find the following excerpt of this very good article by Eric Barker.
“When you ask parents what they want for their kids, what’s usually the most common reply? They want their children to be happy.
… the well-being of children is more important to adults than just about anything else–health care, the well-being of seniors, the cost of living, terrorism, and the war in Iraq. More than two-thirds of adults say they are “extremely concerned” about the well-being of children, and this concern cuts across gender, income, ethnicity, age, and political affiliation.
… happiness is a tremendous advantage in a world that emphasizes performance. On average, happy people are more successful than unhappy people at both work and love. They get better performance reviews, have more prestigious jobs, and earn higher salaries. They are more likely to get married, and once married, they are more satisfied with their marriage.
So, looking at the science, what really works when it comes to raising happy kids?
Step 1: Get Happy Yourself
The first step to happier kids is, ironically, a little bit selfish.
Extensive research has established a substantial link between mothers who feel depressed and “negative outcomes” in their children, such as acting out and other behavior problems. Parental depression actually seems to cause behavioral problems in kids; it also makes our parenting less effective.
And this is not merely due to genetics.
… although the study did find that happy parents are statistically more likely to have happy children, it couldn’t find any genetic component.
Because laughter is contagious, hang out with friends or family members who are likely to be laughing themselves. Their laughter will get you laughing too, although it doesn’t even need to in order to lighten your mood. Neuroscientists believe that hearing another person laugh triggers mirror neurons in a region of the brain that makes listeners feel as though they are actually laughing themselves.
More scientific methods for increasing your happiness here.
Nobody denies learning about relationships is important — but how many parents actually spend the time to teach kids how to relate to others?
(Just saying “Hey, knock it off” when kids don’t get along really doesn’t go far in building essential people skills.)
It doesn’t take a lot. It can start with encouraging kids to perform small acts of kindness to build empathy.
This not only builds essential skills and makes your kids better people, research shows over the long haul it makes them happier.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who were trained to provide compassionate, unconditional positive regard for other MS sufferers through monthly fifteen-minute telephone calls “showed pronounced improvement in self-confidence, self-esteem, depression, and role functioning” over two years. These helpers were especially protected against depression and anxiety.
The majority of the kids praised for their intelligence wanted the easier puzzle; they weren’t going to risk making a mistake and losing their status as “smart.” On the other hand, more than 90 percent of growth mind-set-encouraged kids chose a harder puzzle.
Why? Dweck explains:
“When we praise children for the effort and hard work that leads to achievement, they want to keep engaging in that process. They are not diverted from the task of learning by a concern with how smart they might — or might not — look.”
PS: The Men’s Leadership Summit is happening on the 16-18 July 2021. What a great time to learn how to raise happy kids. Happiness must start with you. Making more good friends will make you happy. This will then help your children be happier. Check out the promo video here.
Check out the brochure here, book your spot here and take advantage of the early bird price.
We need your help. The continued existence of the Daily Declaration depends on the generosity of readers like you. Donate now. The Daily Declaration is committed to keeping our site free of advertising so we can stay independent and continue to stand for the truth.
Fake news and big-tech censorship make the work of the Canberra Declaration and our Christian news site the Daily Declaration more important than ever. Take a stand for family, faith, freedom, life, and truth. Support us as we shine a light in the darkness. Donate today.
The Respect for Marriage Act currently before Congress would enforce not only the acceptance of same-sex unions, but also "marriages" with multiple partners. This would further erode the right of children to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, faithful long-term relationship. [...]
Queen Elizabeth II is a wonderful role model for strong and steady leadership. Her life bears lessons for all parents, who must lead their families. If you are like me, you will have been staggered by how many people loved the Queen. I have always [...]
A short tribute by the Canberra Declaration team to the late Queen Elizabeth II on this national day of mourning. We encourage you to watch the full funeral service to Her Majesty, held in Westminster Cathedral. The team at the Canberra Declaration acknowledges the life [...]
Australian Olympian Bree Walker finds strength from her father, who ever encourages her to greater heights. He has been dedicated to supporting her in her sporting endeavours since childhood, sacrificing that she may succeed in her passions. Once a father, always a father. You will [...]
If you think the ABC is still essentially unbiased, look at what they’re showing your kids. The ABC’s Behind the News youth program is actively promoting LGBTQ ideology. I sometimes wonder if things really are as bad as I think they are. Maybe culture hasn’t [...]
Roughhousing with your children builds resilience and trust, while shaping their character and intellect. Reap the benefits starting today! Harmon Killebrew said, “My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass’. [...]
Australian Indigenous leader Ps James Dargin has paid a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, saying he has great respect for the Queen and urges Indigenous Australians to honour her as a mother and a grandmother. “She Will Be Missed” I have a lot of respect [...]