Raising Happy Children for Dummies by Sue Atkins

Raising Happy Children for Dummies by Sue Atkins

How to Raise Highly Happy, Confident, Resilient Kids: 7 Questions to Ask Every Day
I remember when I wrote my first book Raising Happy Children For Dummies having to write at the end of the book ‘Ten Things to Do Every Single Day as a Parent.’
It was fun to do but hard to choose!

Every parent would like to have a happy, well- behaved child – but every parent also knows this is not often a reality! Raising Happy Children For Dummies  was written to help you have a better understanding of your children – from toddler to teen, boys and girls – and is packed with practical tips from an experienced parenting coach ( that’s me ! )  to improve your parenting, your child’s happiness and as a result, their behaviour.The book helps you explore your own parenting skills, helps you to define what changes you may need to make and provides advice on how to implement new parenting habits to improve you and your family’s relationships. Covering both day-to-day parenting and offering extra advice on how to help your children deal with life’s tougher challenges, this is a down to earth guide from a parenting coach and mother of two.

Raising Happy Children For Dummies covers:

  • Becoming a Confident Parent
  • Knowing What Kind of Parent You Are – and Want to Become
  • Understanding Your Kids’ Needs
  • Beginning with the End in Mind: Establishing Goals for Your Family
  • Communicating Effectively and Connecting with Your Children
  • Approaching Parenting With Common Sense
  • Maintaining Great Relationships
  • Getting Down to Earth and Practical: Disciplining Your Kids
  • Choosing Different Strategies for Different Ages
  • When the Going Gets Tough: Handling Conflict
  • Coping With School
  • Helping Your Child Cope with Individual Problems
  • Helping Your Child Cope with Bigger Issues
  • Raising Children with Unique and Special Needs
  • Raising Twins, Triplets, and Multiple-Birth Children
  • Ten Things to Do Every Single Day as a Parent
  • Ten Techniques to Build a Happy Home
  • Ten Things to Do When it All Goes Pear-Shaped
  • Ten (or so) Top Resources for Parents

Here are a few of things to do – but what about the 7 Best Questions To ASK ?

1. Play with your kids

Playing is your child’s way of exploring the world and it’s an essential part of every child’s development. Being able to play freely enables your kids to learn invaluable life skills like socializing, learning about themselves and others and discovering different ways to do things.
Play is your child’s “work” and they take it very seriously!

Play lays the foundation for everything – reading, writing and for mathematical and scientific skills and it is important to play with your kids as you interact with them, laugh, share memories and talk together. They also learn to share, take turns and lose!

Studies show that children who play make-believe or games with rules are more empathetic, less physically aggressive and more cooperative with other children.

2. Teach them to be organised

Unfortunately, children aren’t born knowing how to manage time and organize their stuff or meet deadlines. You need to teach your children to organize their sports kit, pack their reading books and diary and put their washing in the wash basket.

It’s important that you teach your children to be organized as it helps cut down on everyone’s stress.

3. Don’t shout

It’s hard to force kids to do something they don’t want to do so you end up yelling at them and trying to bribe, convince, or force them and then feel guilty about it afterwards.

Getting your children to do something by being gentle is just as easy as yelling and screaming at them. Your children are far more open to hearing you when you talk to them in a kind, gentle and respectful way.

4. Keep your patience

It’s become the norm to expect things to happen immediately and we get really irritated when things don’t but we often lose sight of the really important things in our lives – like our relationship with our children or partners.

Patience is a virtue in all walks of life, but nowhere is it more important than with your kids.

Look for practical solutions to things like your kids never brushing their teeth – buy them an electric one which plays pop tunes on it to capture their interest or make tidying up a game with lots of speed, excitement and a prize of some sort at the end – be silly, be imaginative, be creative, be daft – make your life more fun!!

5. Love them, spend time with them talking, playing, laughing and learning together.

Children spell love T-I-M-E.

kids spell love TIME

6. Respect each other’s privacy, possessions and personal space

Young children need supervision but it is equally important for each of us in a family to have our own personal space and if kids are guarded too closely or never given space of their own they don’t get that chance.

Respect your child’s personal belongings. Your child needs their own room, even if it is shared with siblings, and they need specific places to keep their clothes, money, and treasures. They also need the guarantee that those places won’t be invaded.

I’ve found knocking and waiting for an invitation before entering my child’s room really beneficial and never read their private writings, diaries, e-mails, or letters.

Children gain improved confidence that their own private belongings won’t be tampered with and that really improves the trust and respect in a family.

keep-calm-and-ask-questions-93

So what about the 7 Questions to Ask Every Day ?

I’ll start and you can let me know what you think  – it’ll be be fun and helpful to other parents.

  1. What did I learn today? And I don’t mean ‘Pi equals the circumference divided by the diameter of a circle.’ I mean things like it’s better to get up 10 mins earlier so I’m more patient with my kids in the morning.
  2. How have I shown my kids that I love them? – making their bed, cooking their tea is lovely but have I played with them , put away my mobile phone & really listened properly to them or taken the time to read to them ?
  3. Have I truly praised them specifically? I love the way you always put your toothbrush back in the holder, put your shoes on the boot wrack at the front door, or  come home on time from a friend’s house after a night out……
  4. Am I in charge of their technology? Have I lovingly stepped up and become the parent – limiting their use of their iPad, iPhone, Game Console ?
  5. Am I letting them be kids and climb trees, play with mud pies, get out into Nature as much as possible to PLAY regardless of their age ?
  6. What am I teaching them about tolerance, respect and self belief?
  7. What habits am I teaching them around money, saving, spending and giving to charity ?