Happiness is …
Ask any parent what it is that they want for their child, and almost immediately, the response is out of their mouth before they can even think: I want my child to be happy. Parents are especially concerned about whether their kids will be happy at a daycare in Fairfax, VA. Parents have lots of different ideas about what it is that will bring their child happiness; however, Marilyn Wedge of Psychology Today offers some ways to increase a child’s happiness.
One way is to tell them something about themselves each day that is really true and that is a really good quality. Do not make a big deal out of it. Do not make it obvious with some kind of big speech, just sprinkle it into conversation. For example, “Tommy, I really like how when you set the table, you always make sure the forks are on the right side.” Short, simple, and to the point. This is one that daycare teachers can employ, too. Kids light up when either parents or teachers offer a compliment
Another way to make a child happy is to invite them to play a game with you or to work a puzzle. This is so much more than just the act of the game or the working of a puzzle. A child will feel so special when a parent offers them the gift of time. In the same way, a child can be invited to help prepare a meal or to bake cookies. The appreciation of the child is more than worth the extra work that the “help” causes. This is sometimes more difficult at the daycare, however, although daycare teachers probably won’t be inviting a child to help prepare a meal, they might ask the child to hand out napkins to everyone or to make sure that everyone’s sippy cup is on the table before lunch.
Finally an option for creating happiness that is open to both parents and daycare teachers alike is to model happiness. Every morning before going to the daycare, the parent should say something that they are looking forward to that day. And then really act as thought it is something to look forward to. At the end of the day, do the same: Today, I really enjoyed reading my new book at lunch. Children are happier when the adults around them are happy.
It is hard for parents to leave a child at daycare, but children can be happy while they are there if they have parents and teachers who notice things throughout the day to be happy about and help children to share their own stories of happiness.
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