Effective, but unpopular: a child psychologist told how to raise a happy child - ForumDaily
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Effective, but unpopular: a child psychologist told how to raise a happy child

The key to raising a happy child is to let him be unhappy. It may sound counterintuitive, but it's a very effective approach, says Tova Klein, a child psychologist and author of How Toddlers Thrive. Writes about it CNBC.

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“We all think that the way to raise our children to be happy is to make them happy. But in fact, children know how to be happy and find joy. It's a fickle feeling," says Klein, director of the Barnard College Toddler Development Center.

Barnard is a women's college at Columbia University.

Parents, she says, often find it hard to accept that "children are allowed to be angry, sad, miserable."

When a child is upset, parents often instinctively try to cheer him up or distract him. They might offer chocolate cake or go to the park for a run. There's nothing wrong with doing nice things to your kids when they're unhappy, Klein says, but it doesn't always remove the source of what's upsetting the child.

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This is especially true when the source of the bad mood seems trivial. For example, the child was not allowed to watch another episode of the series or there was a “wrong” cookie on his plate.

According to Klein, in these cases, the child believes that his negative reaction is appropriate, and he needs to learn how to deal with and manage these feelings, he does not intuitively know how to do this.

Experts advise asking an upset child to take a deep breath and try to put their feelings into words. Or acknowledge the child's feelings, even if you have to stand your ground, with phrases like “I wish we could do this. But, unfortunately, we can’t do that right now,” advises Klein.

“The strength comes from being able to have some pretty strong emotions like anger, then deal with them and know that ‘mom or dad is still with me, they are not upset because of me, they are not going to leave me’,” she explained. she.

The main thing to understand is that the negative emotions of the child will always pass, with the exception of any serious traumatic events.

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“Assuming everything is in order with their lives, they will be happy,” says Klein.

Research shows that children who learn to deal effectively with their negative emotions are more likely to develop the resilience they need as successful adults.

Fearing these negative feelings can lead to long-term behavioral problems, Klein says. Children may be ashamed of these feelings and doubt themselves, for example: “I'm angry, so I'm bad. Maybe there is something wrong with me."

That's why parents need to accept that their kids can't be happy all the time, she adds: "That's the hardest part for us as parents: we're happy when our kids are happy."

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