Teaching Children Happiness

Happy Children via Shutterstock

by Marneta Viegas

Experts now believe that happiness and positivity is a skill that should be taught in school as it helps pupils become more balanced, sharing and caring citizens.

Happiness and positivity also helps young people work harder and commit less crime.

Professor Richard Layard of the the London School of Economics and Dr Anthony Seldon suggest that happiness should be taught as a skill like maths, IT and cookery and pupils need to learn it through exercises and activities to bring it into their lives. Professor Layard believes that the central purpose of schools should be to teach 'the secrets of happiness'

David Cameron has recently started a Happiness survey where people's moods are to be charted. 14,000 UK citizens have been asked to complete 'time diaries' and another 4,000 have been asked to calculate on a scale of 1-10 how much they enjoyed each activity of their day. The survey organized by the Office for National Statistics is costing 1.5 million pounds but the governement believes that National Well-being should be calculated and brought into future policies.

UNICEF have researched happiness and found that UK young people are some of the most unhappy in developed countries.

So, how can we teach happiness to our children?

In Relax Kids classes children learn happiness by taking time out and imagining themselves in new environments. Children learn about their values and qualities and start to reflect on those and appreciate the qualities of those around them. Our thoughts are key to creating happiness and we show children how to change their thoughts and feelings and choose happy ones.

Harvard and Yale have researched that when we say positive words, there is a biological change that takes place in the body within 3-17 seconds. We encourage children to repeat positive words. We show children how happiness can be a conscious decision and choice.

Here are some Happiness tips to work on with your children at home or in the classroom.

  • Make WOW cards - Wishing Others Well cards. Children can decorate them and hand them out to their friends. This encourages team work, appreciation and support rather than envy and jealousy.
  • Virtue List - Get children to list all their qualities and virtues and what they love about themselves. This helps them to start appreciating themselves.
  • Thank you List - Encourage children to write a list of everything they are grateful and thankful for. The more they appreciate the good things in their lives, the more they can start to feel happy.
  • Goals - Encourage children to make little goals and treat themselves when they have achieved them.
  • Praise - Remind children how brilliant they are. Notice every little thing and keep praising them.
  • Exercise and Nature - Spend as much time in nature and outdoors, running and skipping and getting the endorphins racing round their bodies.
  • Relax - Listen to Relax Kids CDs together. Children can imagine they are in different worlds, floating on carpets and clouds. This can bring a feeling of happiness and calm.

Written by Marneta Viegas on 24 November 2011 13:46:03 - blog number: 218; http://www.relaxkids.com/tips/uploads/_wsb_275x268_HappyChild.jpg - read 841 times

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