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How to Raise Happy Kids: 10 Steps



…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.

How happy you are affects how happy and successful your kids are — dramatically.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

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.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

…although the study did find that happy parents are statistically more likely to have happy children, it couldn’t find any genetic component.

So what’s the first step to being a happier you? Take some time each week to have fun with friends.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

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.

Step 2: Teach Them To Build Relationships

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.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

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.

More on creating good relationships here.

Step 3: Expect Effort, Not Perfection

Note to perfectionist helicopter parents and Tiger Moms: cool it.

Relentlessly banging the achievement drum messes kids up.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Parents who overemphasize achievement are more likely to have kids with high levels of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse compared to other kids.

The research is very consistent: Praise effort, not natural ability.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

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.”

More on praising correctly here.

Step 4: Teach Optimism

Want to avoid dealing with a surly teenager? Then teach those pre-teens to look on the bright side.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Ten-year-olds who are taught how to think and interpret the world optimistically are half as prone to depression when they later go through puberty.

Author Christine Carter puts it simply: “Optimism is so closely related to happiness that the two can practically be equated.”

She compares optimists to pessimists and finds optimists:

  1. Are more successful at school, work and athletics
  2. Are healthier and live longer
  3. End up more satisfied with their marriages
  4. Are less likely to deal with depression and anxiety

More on how to encourage optimism here.

Step 5: Teach Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a skill, not an inborn trait.

Thinking kids will just “naturally” come to understand their own emotions (let alone those of others) doesn’t set them up for success.

A simple first step here is to “Empathize, Label and Validate” when they’re struggling with anger or frustration.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Molly: “I am SO SO SO MAD AT YOU.”

Me: “You are mad at me, very mad at me. Tell me about that. Are you also feeling disappointed because I won’t let you have a playdate right now?”

Molly: “YES!! I want to have a playdate right NOW.”

Me: “You seem sad.” (Crawling into my lap, Molly whimpers a little and rests her head on my shoulder.)

Relate to the child, help them identify what they are feeling and let them know that those feelings are okay (even though bad behavior might not be).

More on active listening and labeling (and how hostage negotiators use this) here.

Step 6: Form Happiness Habits

We’re on step 6 and it might seem like this is already a lot to remember for you — let alone for a child. We can overcome that with good habits.

Thinking through these methods is taxing but acting habitually is easy, once habits have been established.

How do you help kids build lasting happiness habits? Carter explains a few powerful methods backed by research:

  1. Stimulus removal: Get distractions and temptations out of the way.
  2. Make It Public: Establish goals to increase social support — and social pressure.
  3. One Goal At A Time: Too many goals overwhelms willpower, especially for kids. Solidify one habit before adding another.
  4. Keep At It: Don’t expect perfection immediately. It takes time. There will be relapses. That’s normal. Keep reinforcing.

More on developing good habits here.

Step 7: Teach Self-Discipline

Self-discipline in kids is more predictive of future success than intelligence — or most anything else, for that matter.

Yes, it’s that famous marshmallow test all over again. Kids who better resisted temptation went on to much better lives years later and were happier.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

…preschoolers’ ability to delay gratification–to wait for that second marshmallow–predicts intelligence, school success, and social skills in adolescence. This is at least in part because self-discipline facilitates learning and information processing. In addition, self-disciplined kids cope better with frustration and stress and tend to have a greater sense of social responsibility. In other words, self-discipline leads not just to school success and sitting nicely at the dinner table but to greater happiness, more friends and increased community engagement.

What’s a good way to start teaching self-discipline? Help kids learn to distract themselves from temptation.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

One way to do it is to obscure the temptation–to physically cover up the tempting marshmallow. When a reward is covered up, 75 percent of kids in one study were able to wait a full fifteen minutes for the second marshmallow; none of the kids was able to wait this long when the reward was visible.

More on increasing self-discipline here.

Step 8: More Playtime

We read a lot about mindfulness and meditation these days — and both are quite powerful.

Getting kids to do them regularly however can be quite a challenge. What works almost as well?

More playtime.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Most kids already practice mindfulness — fully enjoying the present moment — when they play. but kids today spend less time playing both indoors and out… All told, over the last two decades, children have lost eight hours per week of free, unstructured, and spontaneous play…

Playtime isn’t just goofing off. It’s essential to helping kids grow and learn.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Researchers believe that this dramatic drop in unstructured playtime is in part responsible for slowing kids cognitive and emotional development… In addition to helping kids learn to self-regulate, child-led, unstructured play (with or without adults) promoted intellectual, physical, social, and emotional well-being. Unstructured play helps children learn how to work in groups, to share, negotiate, resolve conflicts, regulate their emotions and behavior, and speak up for themselves.

No strict instructions are necessary here: Budget more time for your kids to just get outside and simply play.

More on the power of playing (for kids and adults) here.

Step 9: Rig Their Environment For Happiness

We don’t like to admit it, but we’re all very much influenced by our environment – often more than we realize.

Your efforts will be constrained by time and effort, while context affects us (and children) constantly.

What’s a simple way to better control a child’s surroundings and let your deliberate happiness efforts have maximum effect?

Less TV.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

…research demonstrates a strong link between happiness and not watching television. Sociologists show that happier people tend to watch considerably less television than unhappy people. We don’t know whether TV makes people unhappy, or if already unhappy people watch more TV. But we do know that there are a lot of activities that will help our kids develop into happy, well-adjusted individuals. If our kids are watching TV, they aren’t doing those things that could be making them happier in the long run.

More non-television happiness activities are here.

Step 10: Eat Dinner Together

Sometimes all science does is validate those things our grandparents knew all along. Yes, family dinner matters.

This simple tradition helps mold better kids and makes them happier too.

Via Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents:

Studies show that kids who eat dinner with their families on a regular basis are more emotionally stable and less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. They got better grades. they have fewer depressive symptoms, particularly among adolescent girls. And they are less likely to become obese or have an eating disorder. Family dinners even trump reading to your kids in terms of preparing them for school. And these associations hold even after researchers control for family connectedness…

More on the power of family dinners here.

Sum Up

Here are the ten steps:

  1. Get Happy Yourself
  2. Teach Them To Build Relationships
  3. Expect Effort, Not Perfection
  4. Teach Optimism
  5. Teach Emotional Intelligence
  6. Form Happiness Habits
  7. Teach Self-Discipline
  8. More Playtime
  9. Rig Their Environment For Happiness
  10. Eat Dinner Together

We’re often more open to new methods when it comes to work and careers, but ignoring tips when it comes to family is a mistake.

The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own homes.

- Harold B. Lee

I hope this post helps your family be happier.

http://time.com/35496/how-to-raise-happy-kids-10-steps-backed-by-science/

Chinese Advice


Fun & Info @ Keralites.net
 

 
Because none of us have many years to live, and we can't take along anything when we go, so we don't have to be too thrifty.  
 
Spend the money that should be spent, enjoy what should be enjoyed, donate what you are able to donate, but don't leave all to your children or grandchildren, for you don't want them to become parasites who are waiting for the day you will die!!
  
DON'T WORRY about what will happen after we are gone, because when we return to dust, we will feel nothing about praises or criticisms. The time to enjoy the worldly life and your hard earned wealth will be over!
  
DON'T WORRY too much about your children, for children will have their own destiny and should find their own way. Don't be your children's slave. Care for them, love them, give them gifts but also enjoy your money while you can. Life should have more to it than working from the cradle to the grave!!
  
DON'T EXPECT too much from your children. Caring children, though caring, would be too busy with their jobs and commitments to render much help.
  
Uncaring children may fight over your assets even when you are still alive, and wish for your early demise so they can inherit your properties and wealth.
  
Your children take for granted that they are rightful heirs to your wealth; but that you have no claims to their money.
 
50-year olds, don't trade in - your health for wealth, by working yourself to an early grave anymore. Because your money may not be able to buy your health.
  
When to stop making money, and how much is enough  ?          


     
(A HUNDRED thousand, One million, ten million,One billion )?  
Out  of thousand hectares of good farm land, you can consume only three quarts (of rice) daily; out of a thousand mansions, you only need eight square meters of  space to rest at night. 
 
So, as long as you have enough food and enough money to spend, that is good enough. You should live happily. Every family has its own problems.
 
Just DO NOT COMPARE  with others for fame and social status and see whose children are doing better etc., but challenge others for happiness, health, enjoyment, quality of  life and longevity. 


DON'T WORRY about things that you can't change because it doesn't help and it may spoil your health.
  
You have to create your own well-being and find your own place of happiness. 
As long  as you are in good mood and good health, think about happy things, do happy things daily and have fun in doing, then you will pass your time happily every day.
  
One day passes WITHOUT happiness, you will lose one day.
One day passes WITH happiness and then you gain one day.
   
 
In good spirit, sickness will cure; 
In a happy spirit, sickness will cure faster;
in high and happy spirits, sickness will never come.
 
With good mood, suitable amount of exercise, always in the sun, variety of foods, reasonable amount of vitamin and mineral intake, hopefully you will live another 20 or 30 years of  healthy life of pleasure. 
 -   ABOVE ALL -
 Learn to cherish the goodness around... and FRIENDS........... They all make you feel young and "wanted"... without them you are surely to feel lost !!  
Wishing you all the best for the years to come.
 


Bill, Jim and Scot :)



Bill, Jim, and Scott were at a convention together and were sharing a large suite on the top of a 75-story skyscraper. After a long day of meetings they were shocked to hear that the elevators in their hotel were broken and they would have to climb 75 flights of stairs to get to their room. Bill said to Jim and Scott, let's break the monotony of this unpleasant task by concentrating on something interesting. I'll tell jokes for 25 flights, and Jim can sing poetry for 25 flights, and Scott can tell sad stories the rest of the way. At the 26th floor Bill stopped telling jokes and Jim began to sing poetry. At the 51st floor Jim stopped singing and Scott began to tell sad stories. "I will tell my saddest story first," he said. "I left the room key in the car!"

Entertainment Jokes :: #17258

Change your life style to save your life



 
 
The maintenance of body weight is very important as far as the health fitness is concerned. People who have got abnormal weight are susceptible to diseases very easily. The reason for abnormal body weight is life style. In today's life style men can perform works with out much exertion and for conveyance they can rely on their own vehicles and other alternatives. They have no need to walk to reach their destinations. To make things available just a phone call is sufficient. Then the only thing they have to do is eat and sit simply. This is the reason for abnormal weight in human beings. Over weight is the cause of numerous diseases like Diabetics and Hypertension. If men become prey to these diseases once they cannot escape from their hands till the last minute of their life. They can continue living by taking medicines regularly. The doctors also instruct them to control the diet and body weight.   Henceif people can control their body weight by controlling their diet in advance they can avoid the intake of medicines and thereby they can save financially alsoMen can control their body weight by means of exercises, daily walk and diet control. By controlling weight they can always feel as rejuvenated and free of various health problems. By reducing body weight, the excess fat content in the body will be removed considerably. This will enable people to bring cholesterol under desirable level. Cholesterol is the killer factor for causing heart blocks and thereby cardiac arrest. Hence this is a favorable factor for avoiding various heart problems. If the cholesterol level can be brought under control the blood pressure also can be minimized ideally. In this way by reducing excess body weight, all major diseases can be kept away and this will enable men to lead a very comfortable life


Irony of Life :(


 

The Lawyer hopes you get into trouble,
The Doctor hopes you get sick,
The Police hopes you become a criminal,
The Teacher hopes you are born stupid,
The Landlord hopes you don't buy a house,
The Dentist hopes your tooth decays,
The Mechanic hopes your car breaks down,
The Coffin Maker wants you dead.........

Only a THIEF wishes you "Prosperity in life"
and also wishes "you have a Sound Sleep"


Story: The Man And His Wife in Storm

Trust in God   - Wisdom Quotes and Stories

A man who had just got married was returning home with his wife . They were crossing a lake in a boat, when suddenly a great storm arose. The man was a warrior, but the woman became very much afraid because it seemed hopeless since the boat was small and it seemed that any moment they were going to be drowned. But the man remained silent and was at peace , calm and quiet, as if nothing was happening.

The woman was terrified and trembling and asked, "Are you not afraid ?". This may be our last moment of life!   Only some miracle can save us; otherwise death is certain.

The man laughed and took the sword out of its sheath. The woman was even more puzzled: What was he going to do?  Then he  brought the naked sword close to the woman's neck almost touching it.

He said, "Are you afraid ?"

She started to laugh and said,"Why should I be afraid? If the sword is in your hands, why I should be afraid? I know you love me."

"He put the sword back and said, You have got the answer ". I know God Loves us , and the storm is in His hands

SO WHATSOEVER IS GOING TO HAPPEN IS GOING TO BE GOOD. If we survive, good; if we don't survive, good, because everything is in His hands and He cannot do anything wrong.

Moral:  Develop Trust in God who is capable of transforming your whole life. Everything happens for a reason.

Oxygen Cost Per Day is Huge !!!

In one day a human being breathes
 
oxygen equivalent to three cylinders.
 
 
 
Each oxygen cylinder costs Rs 700, without subsidy.
 
So in a day one uses Oxygen worth Rs 2100 and for
a full year it is Rs 7,66,500.
 
If we consider an average life span of 65 years;
the cost of oxygen we use becomes a staggering
sum of  Rs 500,00,000.( Rs 5Crore )
 
All this oxygen is derived free from the trees..
Very few people look at trees as a resource
and there is rampart tree cutting which should stop. 
 
Please pass this to your friends and do care for trees.

9 Things to Remember When You're Having a Bad Day


feeling sad

Even the hardest days contain lessons that will help you be a better person. Feeling down? Consider these things to remember when you’re having a bad day.

1. No one promised life would be perfect.

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” -Leo Tolstoy

Don’t condition your happiness on meeting every expectation you set for yourself. It is good to be ambitious, but you’ll never be perfect. If you expect otherwise, your life will be rife with disappointments.

2. Success doesn’t happen overnight.

“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” -Molière

Don’t kid yourself into thinking success will come quickly. It isn’t easy to be patient, but anything worth doing requires time (often, lots of it!). If you get frustrated, remind yourself why your goal is important.

3. There is a lesson in every struggle.

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
-Haruki Murakami

Don’t complain about how terrible your life is. It is tempting to do, but stressing out won’t make you feel any better. If you search for the lesson in your present struggle, you’ll be able to make positive changes that would prevent similar situations in the future.

4. Without hard times, you wouldn’t appreciate the good ones.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger

Don’t get sad if you lose. It is hard to find much to smile about when you fail, but how else would you improve yourself? If you look at failure as a part of your evolutionary process, you’ll stay positive and pursue your goals for as long as it takes.

5. It’s okay to cry sometimes.

“Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.” -Elizabeth Gilbert

Don’t be afraid of crying. It isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather an acceptable way to let go of your upset feelings. If you let those feelings build up without release, you’ll have a much harder time dealing with them later.

6. It’s not okay to worry forever.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” -Corrie ten Boom

Don’t worry about everything. It is human nature to obsess with all the things that could go wrong, but this will result in a self-inflicted mental nightmare. If you forget about the things you can’t control, you’ll be empowered to to concentrate on the things you can.

7. No one’s life is as picturesque as it looks.

“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbor says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” -Marcus Aurelius

Don’t compare your life to what another person reflects online. It is okay to interact with your friends online, but don’t believe everything you see. If you feel like your life pales in comparison, realize that you are comparing yourself to a highlight reel of their lives.

8. It takes courage to ask for help.

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” -Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help. It is tough to put yourself in a vulnerable position, but opening up to a friend will help you deal with your troubles. If you feel like a burden, remember that no one would have achieved much if they didn’t ask for support when they needed it.

9. You deserve love and happiness.

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” -Abraham Lincoln

Think of something you are thankful for right now. It could be the cup of coffee you had this morning, the sweet puppy you’ll be going home to tonight, or the healthy set of eyes that allowed you to read this article. It’s so easy to lose sight of these little things when we’re upset. I challenge you to break that trend. The next time you get upset, think about something that makes you happy. Repeat this behavior until it becomes second nature. Your negative thoughts will have no power over you if you learn to stop lingering on them.

Via Lifehack

Story: The Stone On the Road


One day a farmer, walking down the street in a small town came across a large stone in the middle of his path. The farmer complained: "Who could be so careless as to leave such a big stone on the road? Why does someone not remove it?" He went away complaining.
The next day, the same thing happened with a milkman. He too went away grumbling but left the stone as it was.
Then one day, a student came across the stone. Worried that someone may fall over it and hurt himself, he decided to push it aside. He pushed long and hard all by himself and eventually managed to remove the stone from the path. He came back and noticed a piece of paper where the stone was kept.
He picked the paper and opened it. Inside was written, "You are the true wealth of this nation."
There are two kinds of people
Talkers and doers.
Talkers merely talk, while doers do.
 The moral of this story is that if you don't want to get involved you have no right to criticize. Become the change you wish to see in this world.
Service to society is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on this earth

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Are You An Eagle or a Chicken?


are you eagle or a chicken   - Wisdom Quotes and Stories
Once upon a time, at a large mountainside there was an eagle nest with 4 large eagle eggs inside.
One day, an earthquake rocked the mountain causing one of the eggs to roll down to a chicken farm, located in the valley below.
The chickens knew that they must protect the eagle egg. Eventually, the eagle egg hatched and a beautiful eagle was born.
Being chickens, the chickens raised the eagle to be a chicken. The eagle loved his home and family but it seemed his spirit cried out for more.
One day, the eagle looked to the skies above and noticed a group of mighty eagles soaring. ”Oh,” the eagle cried, “I wish I could soar like those birds.”
The chickens roared with laughter, “You cannot soar like those. You are a chicken and chickens do not soar.” The eagle continued staring at his real family up above, dreaming that he could be like them.
Each time the eagle talked about his dreams, he was told it couldn’t be done.
That was what the eagle learned to believe. After time, the eagle stopped dreaming and continued to live his life as a chicken.
Finally, after a long life as a chicken, the eagle passed away.
Moral:
You become what you believe you are. If you ever dream to become an eagle, follow your dreams, not the words of chickens.
Source: Wisdom Quotes and Stories
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