Ten Things To Do to have a Happy Child

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Ten Things To Do

Ten Things To Do to have

Happy Children


Listen to your child each day

As parents we are often distracted with daily chores and other demands on our time. Finding just five minutes when we can give each child our complete attention is often hard to achieve.


Hug your child each day

Touch is an essential part of human communication and bonding. Hugging your child reaffirms your special relationship and makes the child feel safe and secure. Children do not grow out of this!


Set clear boundaries for their behaviour

Children feel safe and secure when parents impose sensible boundaries and enforce them consistently and fairly. Rules should be discussed, agreed and made visible.

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Praise your child all the time

 Children's sense of self-worth and confidence is directly related to the frequency of positive comments they receive. Use any opportunity to 'catch them being good'.


Play with your child

Playing with others is really important for healthy development. Finding time for a five-minute game where you play directly with your child has greater impact than hours of watching them play or transporting them to their own clubs and sports.


Read to your child

Most parents read to their children when they are young and this is a very special enjoyable time. There is no reason to stop reading to them just because they begin reading for themselves.

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Model the behaviour you want

All parents will experience frustration and anger over their child's behaviour at some point. Being able to deal with this in a calm way expressing how we feel helps children manage their own anger and frustration appropriately.


Involve your child in decision-making

From the earliest age it is important to make children feel in control of their lives. Involving them in everyday decisions, like what to have for dinner, helps them understand negotiation and compromise.


Support their dreams

Children often have aspirations that may, as parents, seem silly and unachievable. However, it is important that we always encourage and support these ambitions and use to motivate the child.

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Eat with your child

Children benefit from sitting with their parents and eating the same food. They are more likely to accept new foods if parents eat them and alternatives are not available. Eating as a family at a table is a great opportunity to bond together socially and for everyone to catch up and share their news.

Other Things To Do
Encourage your child to help you to do chores together. This often works better than asking them to them by themselves.
Have silly moments. Show your child that life doesn’t need to be taken too seriously.
Encourage your child to try lots of different activities to broaden their experience. Learning to take risks is a really important life skill.
Beat your child at games. It is good for children to experience losing as well as winning.

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Happy Child

Five Minute Guide to Sleep

A handy printable version of this Ten Things To Do guide suitable for handing to parents, school staff and other professionals and carers. Use 2-sided printing (set printer to flip on short side) and fold in half to produce A5 leaflet.

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This guide is also available as a video presentation with expanded content:

Ten Things To Do to have a Happy Child Presentation

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Got more than five minutes?

You may be interested to read more:

Parent Questions and Answers

Self Esteem

Back to the Ten Things To Do Index

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