I realized the new facet of my existence with the arrival of my first bundle of joy. He was in my arms assured that he will be taken care of. His first smile acknowledging my presence was an experience that cannot be put in words. You feel so proud at the moment. You realized that you are his whole world.
I am sure all of us have similar experience with our first child. The child we hold in our hands, the child we feed, the child we bathe, the child we cuddle, the child we sing a lullaby to in our untrained vocals (that’s something I myself would not want to listen to), is the source of our ultimate happiness.
Most of you would agree with me that our happiness was at the peak when our children were born. They make us happy. They make us proud. They make us complete.
These are the euphoric moments that any parent would go through.
This beautiful bundle of joy grows up now, throws tantrums, becomes unreasonable and sometimes outright irritating. As a parent, I always wondered how to have a HAPPY KID, who loves, cares, and is excited in life. I want my child to be responsible. I want my child to be sensitive to people around. I want my child to abide by rules. I want my child to be well behaved. I want my child to be polite. I want my child to be always happy and smiling. I want a child who would be wonderful to be with.
Do you also have same expectations? I am sure this is not something out of ordinary that we as parents expect out of our children isn’t it?
These are all reasonable expectations, but why is that we do not get our children to be like this?
I had this question and wanted it answered. My first source was the Google Baba. Like me, you might have also sought the Google Baba’s help. Thankfully, the internet has a tremendous amount of data related to child raising. There is a treasure trove of information available to us at the click of a button. Unfortunately, this information is haphazard and not organized. I still had my questions unanswered.
This was the time, when I met a group of people who exposed me to a new philosophy of life. This changed my approach towards seeking answers to my questions of raising a HAPPY KID.
“Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yes you read it right. Ralph Waldo Emerson nailed it when he said this. This one sentence set me into something that would change my whole life and that of my family’s for a better future.
Let us make a list of qualities that we want in our child.
|My Child should be||As a parent,|
|HAPPY KID||Are you a happy parent(s), do you know how to control your negative emotions of anger, irritation, dissatisfaction, frustrations, etc?|
|Loving and Caring||Do you come across as a loving and caring person?|
|Excited||Do you have excitement in life and enjoy your life? Or do you sulk at things?|
|Responsible||Are you a responsible citizen?|
|Sensitive to people around||Are you sensitive to people around you? How do you treat other people?|
|Abide by rules||Do you follow the rules (for eg, traffic rules) without giving excuses?|
|Well behaved||Does your work stress, financial stress affect your behavior with people?|
|Polite and Obedient||Are you polite to people?|
|Happy and smiling||Are you always Happy and Smiling in all situations or do you think the whole world is conspiring against you?|
|Wonderful to be with||Are you the person you want to be with?|
As Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it right, our children see us and learn than hear us and learn. So, let us make the effort to set the right example for our children to follow.
I know, it is easier said than done. It wasn’t easy for us too. I and my always supportive wife Sangeetha had to work on ourselves a lot. We were not alone in this quest; the world has given birth to people who have brought out some amazing stuff in the form of books. Yes, you read it right; there are some WONDERFUL BOOKS that are life changing both for you and your children. Bible says, “SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND” and I am sure all religions have same thing to say. I received my guidance through the following resources. Make note of them and use them, you will be surprised how the life starts rewarding you for this.
Read the following books (both parents)
- Being Happy –by Andrew Matthews
- Attitude is Everything –by Jeff Keller
- The Secret –by Rhonda Byrne
- People Tools –by Alan C Fox
- How to Win Friends and Influence People–by Dale Carnegie
- Mindset –by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
I know, we closed our last books when we passed out of our colleges, but believe me there is nothing like reading these books. These books bring out the best in you and guide you towards being the person that you want your children to be. In essence, when you read these books, you are the role model that your child will grow up looking at. Doesn’t it excite you? It did excite me. It took me a while to get used to reading on a regular basis, but the effort was worth the outcome. My wife with all the work she does taking care of 2 growing up children and a full time job and a part-time business also took out time to read. Not having time is an excuse that we make. Take the decision to read every day at least for 15 minutes. Today, I see in myself and my wife the changes that would not have been possible and I am now confident that I am on the right track.
A good book for you to start reading out to your child who is under 10 and a good reading book for a child between 10-13 years of age is “The 7 Habits Of Happy Kids” –by Sean Covey.
I would be listing some good reads for children in my next article.
So till then, start the process, set the ball rolling, pick up these titles. There are lot of offers running on Flipkart and Amazon, go ahead make this investment in yourself.
I thank The School of India for the opportunity given to us to write for the school magazine. We are really happy to be associated with this wonderful organization. I am sure my children would blossom into wonderful future world citizens and contribute to peace and happiness of the world.
Narendra Babu S
A Proud Father of Shreyas S and Skanda Samarth S
PS:** These are my thoughts alone. I also understand that there would be other challenges we would encounter in the process of bringing up our children and there are experts who are qualified to help us in such situations. This write up of mine is in general to a larger audience.