Every parent would like to ensure their child’s happiness. It is something that cannot be bought despite the materialistic world we now live in. We can’t give a child happiness however we can share it and teach them how to develop it. How can coaching parents and children close the gap between the happiness we desire and where we are now?
Aiding children to become aware and manage their emotions, increase their level of responsibility, develop their self awareness will ultimately increase a child’s happiness. Coaching can provide a platform to enable this to happen either for a parent or for a parent wanting to develop these discussions with a child of any age.
Define what happiness means to you or your child? Is it sharing laughter, an act of kindness, engagement with friends and family, enjoying what you are doing, appreciating the world around you be it nature, art, music or whatever. The choice of definition is personal and yours!
Understanding and discussing emotions can be difficult for all of us, whatever our age! How can this aid our happiness? If we can gain an insight into what makes us happy, sad, frustrated, angry etc and learn to handle and deal with these emotions it will raise our awareness. Learning what it feels like to be happy and wanting more of it. Controlling anger and discussing what makes us frustrated.
How can this be discussed and developed with children? One method that can be used during coaching sessions with children is to get a magazine, cut out pictures of people’s faces showing different signs of emotion- happiness, sad, frustrated, cross etc and asking a child to discuss what each picture shows (or get the child to draw/imitate a happy/sad person etc). What might that feeling be like? When can you think of a situation that provokes that emotion? What was it like? Getting children (and adults) to discuss their feelings and learning how to control and understand what might cause the feeling and how they can respond is a fantastic learning experience. Raising their awareness and developing control of emotion is an essential skill.
Visualization is another method to use with children (and adults). Imagine being happy, what is it like? What would you look like? How does it feel? How would you hold yourself differently? How would this impact on your friends? Or discuss a fictional character, act when they are happy/sad? What would Bob the builder say….“can we fix it, yes we can!”
None of us can claim to have happiness all the time. Understanding what gives or makes happiness and what happiness we give to others, how we take stock of this, how we appreciate it when we have it, and think about how we can work on getting it back when we feel as if we have lost it is the key to developing a happier person, child, parent and society. Being happy means that you look forward to each new day; you have inner strength; you are more fun to be around and you will have more energy and motivation.
Laughter is the key to bringing a sense of happiness to anyone. My son constantly sings the song: “Don’t worry about a thing, cause everything little thing’s going to be already!” and can find the funny side to any situation so in his own way he is contributing to others’ happiness.
Reference: Excepts from Tania Gibson Article – Happiness matters in children