Life Well Lived: Teaching Our Children Happiness

by Kathy on March 6, 2012 · 0 comments

in Abby, BlogHer, Bob, Coping, Family, Gratitude, Happiness, Healing, Hope, Infertility, Life, Loss, Love, Memories, Molly, Optimism, Quotes, Relationships, The Future

This week I am participating for the first time in BlogHer and Procter & Gamble’s Life Well Lived editorial program as part of a panel of bloggers. The category our panel writes about is “Getting Happy” and we were asked to answer this question:

How do you teach the children in your life happiness?

I find this to be such an interesting and complex question. For one thing, I am not sure that we can truly teach anyone else how to get or to be happy. I think cultivating happiness is something we have to figure out how do on our own and for ourselves. But I do believe we can model ways of living for our children that embrace and celebrate the brighter side of life, even during difficult, uncertain and painful times.

One of my favorite quotes about happiness is this:

“Happy people don’t necessarily have everything,
they just make the most of everything they have.”
~ Author Unknown

I appreciate the idea that much of the key to happiness in life is how we choose to look at our circumstances. I believe that we can and should try to find the blessings and silver linings in every situation we encounter.

As much as I am not sure whether we can teach others, including our children, directly how to be happy, I have learned a lot about happiness from watching my parents over the course of my life.

My mom has always been an optimist/”glass half full” kind of gal, who prides herself on believing the best about others and giving people the benefit of the doubt. I have tried to emulate this approach to life and interacting with other people for as long as I can remember. Though it isn’t always easy for me to do, especially when loved ones and others in my life do not to treat me with the same level of courtesy, respect and sensitivity that I try to show them.

My dad, a big jokester, often tries to make light of things, in good fun, when his loved ones and people he knows are struggling. I have appreciated the comic relief his humor and antics have brought to my life, especially during difficult and challenging times in my life. My dad also has a softer side that he uses to help counsel and support many people dealing with addictions to find hope, help, healing and happiness on their journeys. I have tried to emulate this too through reaching out and ministering to others who have experienced infertility and loss through participating in support groups, connecting one on one and my writing, especially here on my blog.

Though my children have their moments, they seem to be happy at the ages (8 1/2 and 2 1/2) and stages they are at. I hope and pray that they will try and be able to appreciate and “make the most of everything they have” in their lives as they grow older. I will continue to do my best to model healthy ways of living, as well as thinking, writing and speaking about what makes me happy.

What do you think? How do you teach the children in your life about happiness? How did or do you continue to learn about happiness yourself?

I look forward to reading your thoughts on this. Thank you for reading and letting me know what you think about my perspective on teaching our children happiness.

To read the main post on BlogHer and join me in the comments click here.

To enter the new Life Well Lived Sweepstakes click here.

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