Encouraging Happiness in Children

Happiness is a tremendous advantage in a world that emphasizes performance. On average, happy people are more successful than unhappy people at both work and love. They get better performance reviews, have more prestigious jobs, and earn higher salaries. They are more likely to get married, and once married, they are more satisfied. We live in an exciting era and our children will be afforded opportunities and experiences not possible for previous generations. Nevertheless, the hopes and aspirations we have for our children have not changed, nor have our morals and values and parents should trust their judgement more. You know your child and what is best for them better than anyone. By keeping the pillars of physical and mental health front of mind, and by consciously and regularly checking in to see if they are balanced, you will simultaneously be helping your child become content, healthy and comfortable. And, more importantly, know how to do that for themselves in the future. It can be difficult to know exactly how to define happiness, and there are a multitude of terms that are used interchangeably to describe a child’s overall wellbeing. It is therefore important to outline a framework to explore how we can help our children become confident, content and healthy little people. It is also worth noting that it is not possible to be in a permanent state of ‘happiness’ and that it should be viewed as an emotion that one feels (hopefully often!) but that other feelings like sadness, anger or boredom are perfectly natural too. Lessons have revealed that encouraging happiness through play goes a long way to boost academic outcomes. Humans are inevitably social beings; the worst misfortunes that we can involvement are those that involve relational loss. Therefore, recovery must involve re-establishing human connections. Across the Kashmir, schools are open for a phased or full return of students to the classroom. Most somnolent parents, compassionate teachers and lonely kids will be delighted to see these days come, but concerns remain about the effect that protracted school closures have had on our children and young people. Much of the debate has focused on how to help pupils “catch up” on their “lost learning”. This narrative is profoundly unhelpful and potentially damaging, due to the psychological pressure it places on children and young people. we need to trust and respect school leaders and staff to support our children as they return to class, as well as provide adequate resources. Many teachers are close to burnout and need support for their own wellbeing. They are best placed to identify and close any gaps in knowledge. But before “catching up” on learning let’s allow pupils to catch up with each other and with staff. Resilience resides in these relationships.
The well-being of children is more important to adults than just about anything else–health care, the well-being of seniors, the cost of living, violence, and the wars. More than two-thirds of adults say they are “extremely concerned” about the well-being of children, and this concern cuts across gender, income, ethnicity, age, and political affiliation.
The impact of lockdown on child and adolescent mental health and wellbeing is clear from research on previous school closures, within the health service, and in our own experiences as parents. Social isolation has exacerbated disadvantage and pre-existing vulnerability. It’s vital that long-term planning includes improving the availability and accessibility of therapeutic support for those who need it. Right now, we need to emotionally regulate before we educate. However, while there is clearly cause for concern, a fatalistic discourse can be counter-productive, and prevent schools and the government from fully committing to supporting young people. Our children are so much more than the pandemic they have lived through. They shouldn’t be pathologies for displaying normal reactions to abnormal events. It’s important to remain hopeful for our young people and to help them to hope. Put simply, if our kids keep being told that they are the helpless victims of “Covid generation”,” of mental illness, at some point they are going to believe it. Alternatively, if we reassure them that “it’s really hard, but it will pass, it’s going to be OK”, maybe they will believe that instead. The majority of pupils won’t need counselling post-lockdown. They will benefit from getting back to the structure, stability, predictable routine and clear expectations of school. And then they will need space to play. At every age and stage, play is essential. There is growing evidence of long-term negative impacts of play deprivation. That’s because the experience of play enhances children’s social, emotional, physical, and creative skills, while also supporting the development of early literacy and numeracy ability in an integrated manner. If we really want to boost long-term academic attainment, then we need to let the kids reconnect and play together again. A summer of play should be part of that process. The relatively modern conversion to the notion that children should be happy added important criteria to the ways many parents evaluated their own performance and clearly helped motivate changes in actual interactions with children, including the growing commitment to consumerism. It affected people’s evaluations of their own childhoods, and could affect children directly as well, as in the injunctions to be cheerful. But, as several recent studies of happiness suggest, the results in terms of actual happiness and well being are harder to assess: expectations could be raised beyond reasonable hope of fulfillment, and signs of occasional sadness might become harder to handle. To conclude the topic, it can said that Emotional wellbeing is fundamental and foundational for academic attainment. A stressed, anxious child will have difficulty learning anything. On the flip side, promoting wellbeing can outcomes. The well-being of children is more important to adults than just about anything else–health care, the well-being of seniors, the cost of living, violence, and the wars. More than two-thirds of adults say they are “extremely concerned” about the well-being of children, and this concern cuts across gender, income, ethnicity, age, and political affiliation.
(The author is working as Sectional Officer at Central University Kashmir. Views are his own)
ishtiyaq.cukmr@gmail.com

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