It is really very simple to raise a child who is happy. Treat your children the way you would like to be treated yourself. Empathise with them, care about their feelings, both good and bad, and help them to work through them. Spend as much quality time with them as possible and always treat them with respect. The more approachable you are now, the more they will come to you with difficult problems in the future. Punishing children, particularly by excluding them through something like ‘time out’ or ‘the naughty step’ only teaches them that they are only lovable when they are feeling good. At best this means they will not be honest with us as they grow, at worst it teaches them to internalise their emotions, which can lead to depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse when they are older.
How to raise a happy child: the Gentle Parenting way
Gentle Parenting expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith gives her advice on how to use gentle parenting and attachment parenting techniques to raise a happy child