4 Suggestions in How To Have Happy Kids – Vol. 241, March 6, 2014
There are many stories out there about kids who are suffering from anxiety, depression and drug addiction. How about we speak to how to prevent these problems from occurring?
The most important gift that you can give your kid is unconditional love. Years ago I had a mother call me regarding working with her depressed son. I had worked with many kids who were depressed and felt that I could help him out as well. He turned out to be a kid with significant learning disabilities, among them the inability to focus his attention making him a poor hypnosis client.Though I didn’t formally hypnotize his mother, she put herself into trance, as I was working with her son. About a month after we had done the work together she wrote me an email telling me that though she was disappointed in the fact that her son didn’t seem much better, that she, after our work together, had gained an awareness that she never accepted her son for who he was. This was a huge acknowledgement on her part, opening this mother’s heart to accepting her child for who he was unconditionally.
The second most important gift that you can give your kid is self-love. The best way to do this is to help your kid to aspire to do the best that the kid can do without putting too much pressure on. I had a teen client in a few months ago who was getting all A’s in her honors classes along with one B. She had come in to see me because she was depressed. In her case, her mother was hypnotized along with her daughter as this was what the daughter requested. The client’s mother came to understand that her need to please others by being perfect was being projected onto her daughter. The result was putting way too much pressure on her daughter to get all A’s. The mother had no realization that this pressure on her child was one way in which her daughter felt that she was “not good enough” to be loved for herself.
The third most important gift you can give your child is self-respect. Taking time to listen to your kid’s feelings is very important. This can be a bit tricky because most people when they hear a challenge that another is facing will tell them how they can identify with it based on their own experiences. About six months ago I was at a forum on how to better get teens to listen to their parents. In it, the psychologist who was running the program had asked a parent to do a role play with him. The subject was of her teen not being invited to a party. The parent playing the role went into the story of how she too was not invited to a party when she was her child’s age. The psychologist pointed out that her speaking of her situation had nothing to do with the child’s feelings and could come across as minimizing her daughter’s situation. The result of that response would be to create anger at the mother and a sense that her situation was not important. Really all the mother needed to do was to validate her daughter’s feelings by letting her know that she had every right to be upset with the situation and asking if there was anything that she could do to help her daughter feel better. The focus was to be totally on the daughter’s experience.
In this world of materialism many parents do their best to give their kids the material goods they feel their kids desire.Like any relationship, the most important thing that you can give your kid is your time and attention. In this case I am speaking of doing things with your kid, that your kid enjoys. I had a teen client come in to see me who was having a difficult time with her mother. One of the things that came out in that session was the fact that she and her mother never spent any time together. Her mother was spending much more time with her younger sister with whom she shared many interests. In this case the mother acknowledged the discrepancy with how she treated each daughter differently. As a result of this work the parent asked her child what interests she had that she could do with her mother. They ended up deciding to play tennis together.
The best way to raise happy kids is to let them know that you love them unconditionally. Allow them to be who they are, while helping them to aspire to be the best that they can be based on their own ability levels. Validate your kid’s feelings by truly listening to what they are saying. Share common interests with your kids to develop a closer relationship. If you do these four things you are on your way to creating a happy and well adjusted kid.
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