We teach our children the ABCs, how to walk and talk, eat with a fork instead of fingers and chew with their mouths closed. We teach them the importance of saying, “Please” and “Thank you”, sharing their toys, and treating people with kindness.
We teach our children so many things about growing up, the word around them, and how to play well with others. But are we teaching them the simplest and yet most profound lesson? Are we teaching our children about living joyfully?
Choosing to Live Joyfully
It’s a life lesson that somehow seems to slip between the cracks. Between brushing and flossing and not sharing our germs with others, the simple lesson of how to just be happy gets forgotten.
It’s easy to see why. Children are naturally happy, curious, joyful little beings. But soon enough the wonder and amazement turns to worry and self-doubt and that’s why we need to teach them the powerful art of choosing to live joyfully.
#1 Start your day with a song – It doesn’t have to be a Mary Poppins-esque sing-along. Just turn on a favorite fun song and jump around to get the energy (and joy) movin’ and groovin’.
#2 Laugh A LOT – If something unexpected happens, like an entire bag of sugar toppling over and covering the counter, your new khakis and the floor, instead of your default reaction of “Oh shit”, laugh (because really when you think about it, it’s dang funny). Make laughter a daily habit in your home and your children will learn to laugh too.
#3 Teach them how to let go of worry – The art of living joyfully is learning how to let go of worry and move forward in faith that it will all work out. Help them practice letting go of worry by blowing it out their noses and putting it in YOUR pocket.
#4 Find the silver lining – Okay – let’s face it. Shit happens (and we often have no say at all). Sometimes the only thing you can control is your reaction. So when it rains, and rains, and rains, help them see the opportunity for fun indoor games. You know, that “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” kind of stuff.
#5 Help them see their growth – Remind them to look back and see their accomplishments – whether it’s the growth chart on the wall or the new skills they learned that they didn’t know the year before.
#6 End every day with gratitude – Teach them the habit of taking 5 minutes at the every day to be grateful for the good things that happened. Start with “My favorite thing that happened today was…” and fill in the blank with what you are grateful for.
#7 Show them how truly special they are – This is my favorite part of living joyfully with your children – give them lots of hugs and kisses and tell them how special they are in how they walk through the world.
Now go snuggle, or sing with your kids and have a fantastic weekend! See you back here on Monday!