Happier Parents Help Kids Thrive

The science behind parental wellbeing and its impact on child development.



(Yuganov Konstantin / Shutterstock.com)

Does the happiness of parents play a role in shaping the overall wellbeing of their children? Scientific studies have shed light on the profound connection between parental happiness and the positive development of kids. According to the Excelled Schools newsletter, happiness is contagious, and the impact a happy parent has on their child can be one of the greatest gifts of all.

What is a happy parent?
It seems like parental happiness has an important influence on the emotional, social, and cognitive development of children. According to Inc, this can happen when parents prioritize their happiness. If you know your mental and emotional wellbeing has an impact on your children, perhaps it can motivate you to view it as part of being a good parent and not a selfish one. Perhaps the adage “happy wife, happy life” is also true about children. 

Inevitably, you may lose a bit of your sense of self when caring for children, especially young ones whose needs are almost exclusively dependent on their caregiver. Dr Shefali, a popular parenting expert, told Excelled Schools that working on yourself, growing and practicing conscious parenting by healing yourself and your childhood traumas. All of this, she explains, helps raise healthier and happier children. 

Becoming a happier parent
Parental happiness is not only beneficial for parents themselves but also creates a nurturing environment for children to thrive. The Anna Freud parenting website encourages parents to give themselves permission to make your wellbeing a priority. 

Some practical strategies that parents can adopt to enhance their own well-being include prioritizing their self-care and engaging in activities that bring them joy and fulfillment. This could include hobbies, exercise, pursuing personal goals, or taking time for relaxation. When a parent nurtures their own well-being, parents can better support their children's happiness.

Another great idea is sharing experiences and creating lots of memories together. Metro News reported about parents who go raving with their children. The idea is twofold: firstly, the parents get to continue to be themselves and do something they love. At the same time, the shared experience and showing your children how happy you are doing something you love can be incredibly valuable as well. Who said raving can’t be a family thing?

Being your authentic self
It seems like one of the main aspects of being a happy parent, which in turn helps you have happier children, is feeling comfortable, confident and able to be yourself, despite your new status and huge responsibility. However, part of being responsible is being honest. And honestly, when parents prioritize their own happiness, it has a cascading effect on the overall well-being of the family. And a joyful and harmonious family environment benefits everyone involved. 

When you put your own happiness first, you become a role model for your kids. They see the importance of self-care, pursuing passions, and maintaining healthy relationships. You are passing on some major life skills and attitudes. So, embrace your uniqueness and be yourself! Enjoy life and don't forget to be happy.

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