The old poets indicate that happiness is fleeting, but modern-day science shows there may be some simple steps to increase your happy state of mind. Although our kids can’t always have ongoing ease and comfort in life, since reality often dictates circumstances, they can choose how they live. When it comes to daily happiness and energy there are a few ways to help kids maintain positive moods even when life is challenging.
- Sleep input helps mood output. Sleep is one of the best ways to support a child’s rapid mental and physical development. Because children are developing more than adults, it is recommended they get more sleep. The general guideline is toddlers need around 12 hours of sleep a night; children age three to six require 10-12 hours; seven to twelve-year-olds, around 10-11 hours and teenagers work best on 8-9 hours nightly.
- Room tidiness promotes inner calm. Cleaning one’s room seems to always end up last on the list of chores for kids. But, even 5-10 minutes of daily cleaning allows kids time to hang up coats or move dirty clothes from the floor to the clothes bin. Cleaner closets and drawers provide a sense of inner organization and a greater sense of focus.
- Breaking up time for the task. Homework is not a particularly fun activity, especially for middle and high school students. As the time to complete homework grows longer for older students, it may be a good idea to complete the task in installments rather than all at once. For some kids, this is an effective idea. For others, it is not. So, know your child and remain flexible in regards to the best way to complete those arduous activities.
- Hugs coming and going. Kids need to know they are loved. Giving hugs at greetings or farewells is a perfect way to show and spread love. When your child leaves or enters the house they can share a hug. New studies suggest that hugs can improve your overall mood and reduce stress during difficult times.
Aimee Serafin, editor of the Augusta Family Magazine.