Why your kids need to see your happiness

There are so many things I want for my children. My list is long and includes the hope that they grow to be kind, courteous, generous, loyal and honest adults. But perhaps the thing I want most for them is to be truly happy.

Why happiness matters

I don’t believe people are happy by accident, and I don’t think happiness comes from acquiring material things.

In my mind, happiness is a learned behavior — a choice — that becomes a central part of who we grow to be.

For my children to learn what it means to be happy in the simplicity of the every day, they must see that in me.

Of course, it’s impossible to be happy all of the time. Life isn’t always easy. There are days when the dishes have piled up in the sink, loads of laundry have to be cycled through, and I feel overwhelmed, tired and crabby. In those moments, I have a choice. I can either wallow in my bad mood or try to shake it off.

Learn more about why I choose happiness >> 

Given how important it is for children to see their parents express joy, it’s our responsibility to seek happiness for them as much as for ourselves.

But how do we do that?

How to find your happy

Here are some ideas to get you started:


Play some dance music and show your kids your best moves. You’ll either dance yourself into a good mood or end up in a heap of laughter.

Have a treat

Drop everything, and go out for a frozen yogurt. Let your kids add heaps of toppings and enjoy the moment.


Take the kids to the park and join them on the swings. Feel the thrill of flying through the air and the way the breeze feels on your face.

Movie night

Put on your pajamas, and have your kids do the same. Pop some popcorn, grab some blankets and put in a movie. Snuggles and togetherness are often the best cure for a bad mood.

Do a project

Involve yourself and your kids in a project that requires you to completely focus on the task at hand. When you stand back and admire your finished product, your bad mood will likely be a distant memory.

Learn more ways to feel happier every day >>

Marcel Proust, French novelist, critic and essayist, wrote, “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

And as sappy as it may sound, those words echo in my mind when I look at my children. I want to be that gardener for them. I want to see them carry happiness through life and spread joy to others along the way.

More on happiness

6 Blues-busting strategies
New book explores secrets to being a happy mom
10 Reasons to smile right now


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Comments on "Practicing Gratitude: Let's get happy!"

Sherri March 26, 2012 | 4:26 PM

And now? I am happier already!

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