Thursday, August 2, 2012

What Makes Happy Kids?

Over the past few years there has been an explosion of hundreds of different scientific studies on the pursuit of happiness.  Check out these very interesting results from one definitive study about the three key factors that lead to happiness.
First Factor  - 50% of our happiness is determined by our DNA - I could not believe this percentage was so large.  However, any moms who have two very different children can understand this concept.  Just like me, you may have one child who has a natural tendency to view the glass as half full and another who tends to view it as half empty. (However, keep in mind that you can overcome negative natural tendencies with practice and the power of the Holy Spirit.)

Second Factor - 10% of our happiness is determined by our circumstances - I would have thought this percentage would have been higher. However, this is why you may know rich and powerful people who are not happy, and poor people who are full of joy. 
Which "Happiness Trigger" is Grandpa practicing?
Third Factor - 40% of our happiness is determined by life choices - These are the decisions that we make or ways we decide to spend our time and energies. Out of these choices there are 5 "Happiness Triggers" that you can do that tend to make people more happy.
        1.  Express Gratitude.
        2. Try knew things (Courage).
        3. Be kind to others.
        4. Play (the ability to be silly).
        5. Spend time with close friends or family.

I was excited to realize the first 3 of the 5 happiness triggers are character qualities - gratefulness, courage, and kindness.  So if we want to help our kids be happier, we can help them grow in character.  Last month, we focused on #2 Courage, so this month we will focus on #3 Kindness.

This weekend your assignment is to focus on #4 and #5 - Play with your family. Do something for no other reason than to be silly with your kids. What silly things make your kids happy?

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