Raising Happy, Healthy Kids

If only there was a manual for this, right?

As a parent, I am constantly thinking about my children and their happiness. Finding the balance between raising smart, polite, kind children and keeping them happy along the way, can be quite a challenge. I often find that my version of thinking can quickly turn into overthinking. For instance, the other day I asked my daughters specifically what we could do that day that would make them feel happy. I have no idea what long-winded, very insightful answer I was expecting from a 2 and 3 year old, but the answer I received? Ice cream. Simple as that.

Ok, so every day is not going to be an ice cream day (though, shouldn’t it be?), but you get the idea.

Armed with this information, I decided to add to that the things I also think are important for health and happiness. I took my daughters to the park (after finishing ice cream, of course) and there I found so many opportunities for my children to practice being smart, polite and kind. The lessons are there – they are everywhere, every day. Without planning them, they appear. It is about taking the time to slow down and pay attention to them with your children (and yourself for that matter). In those moments where everything seems chaotic, it is so important to breathe, check in with yourself – and with your children – and remember to have fun along the journey. Take the time to find the happiness in the little things. Your children are always watching, and if they see that happiness is an important part of your life, then it will be important to them as well.


Written by Nicole Uzendoski, MSW, LICSW