The Secret to Happiness
Therefore, I cannot guarantee the stories in this book are as I originally heard them or initially developed them. Nor can I guarantee that the way you read them is the way I told them to my last client, or will tell them to the next. May I suggest you see in the stories I have written their themes, ideas or meaning rather than the exact words with which they have been expressed in this format. Look for the therapeutic message in each story rather than trying to memorize or relate it to a child verbatim. These stories were not designed to be told and retold as an actor may faithfully memorize and reiterate the words ofa playwright. I hope you will allow the tales to evolve and, along with them, your own stories and storytelling skills. Stories emerge from within us, they communicate about our own experiences and, in turn, help define us as individuals. In stories it is possible for us, and our young clients, to find happiness and well-being, as well as the means for creating and...
One thing is clear it's up to us.We must take immediate action, or there will be disastrous long-term effects on our children's potential for happiness and fulfillment. Here are ten outcomes that could happen if we don't make an emergency intervention and allow our kids to hold on to those bad attitudes.
Often an idea, a one-liner, a joke, a statement, or a brief analogy can form the basis for building a therapeutic story. On a regular radio talk show, I was discussing the subject of happiness. One caller rang in with a very brief story Once upon a time there was a king who had everything but wasn't happy. Thinking that if he found the happiest man in his kingdom and wore his shirt he might know something of the experience of happiness, he sent out messengers to find the happiest man. When they finally returned, they told the king that the happiest man didn't even have a shirt. This brief tale communicates an important message about happiness and well-being. We and our children are fed many media messages about happiness and how to attain it through the purchase of a particular product. For example, our TV-viewing children are learning that the only way to produce a happy family is to cook on a particular brand of stove, spread your bread with a certain brand of margarine, or wash the...
Preteens and teens enjoy taking questionnaires designed to tell them more about themselves. Encourage them to take the Authentic Happiness website's Signature Strengths questionnaire. It could be fun for you to talk about these tests with your kids, or even take them together and compare notes, but be aware that many teens may prefer to talk about it with their peers it goes with the territory of being a teen. Either way, taking the tests opens the door for reflection. As a family, choose a character strength that you will all work on for a month. For example, use the exercises in the Caring chapter of What Do You Stand For Or, increase your appreciation of the good things in life by setting aside time each day for each family member to talk about three good things that happened to me. (This exercise is based on research findings that people who keep a gratitude diary increase their happiness and appreciation of life.) Another excellent questionnaire Barbara Lewis's What Do You Stand...
Thus, looking for confidence is like looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is as elusive as looking for happiness. Once you begin looking, you will notice it trailing behind your shadow. You need to behave as if you already have confidence and positive self-esteem. It's not that hard to fool bullies - they usually aren't that alert or aware. Just pretend to be confident and 'fake it till you make it'. Imagine that you are being interviewed on television, and need to project a confident image. When you begin it may feel uncomfortable, but as you practise, as with learning any new skill, it will slowly come naturally
We flatten ourselves emotionally so that we don't have to be disappointed. The problem is that our joy and sorrow are linked together. As we cut off disappointment, we also cut off happiness. We can't deaden one side of our hearts without it eventually affecting the rest. Therefore, a girl or a woman who ignores holes quickly deadens emotionally. In trying to silence our longings, we silence our entire hearts.
We humanists agree that there is no karmic law, no Grand Plan, and no Grand Planner to make the world make sense for us. Instead of discovering The Meaning of Life, we're faced with the job of creating meaningful lives for ourselves. We also agree that happiness is to be found here and now, not in some imaginary hereafter. Just as humanists recognize that there is no one true meaning of life, the same is true for definitions of happiness. There are different sources of happiness for any one person, some types of happiness are more meaningful and more attainable than others. But we can draw upon accumulated human wisdom for ideas that will resonate with our own and our children's experiences. , , -hi There is not one biq cos-about happiness will reveal some common . i i r- i mic meaninq for all, there is themes. People define happiness as by the fullest exercise of our faculties and the fullest realization of the world in which we live. 2 Happiness lies in the joy of achievement...
And don't forget how your interpretation of world events affects your kids. After all, many of our kids' views are formed from listening to ours. Sadly, too often kids hear a pessimistic, cynical outlook of life instead of an upbeat or positive one.Take heart research at Penn State University concludes that parents can teach kids the virtues of optimism, hopefulness, and joyful-ness, which dramatically reduces their pessimistic attitudes, improves their character, and increases the likelihood of long-term happiness.The sooner you start, the easier it will be.
In another study, conducted to determine the specificity of the relation between the ERP response of maltreated children and the nature of the eliciting stimuli, Pollak et al. (2001) examined and compared the ERP response of maltreated and nonmaltreated children to prototypic happy, angry, and fearful facial expressions. As was the case in their prior study, it was discovered that nonmaltreated children exhibited equivalent P3b amplitude in response to all of the target facial expressions of affect (e.g., anger, happiness, fear). However, the amplitude of the P3b waveform of the maltreated children exceeded that of the nonmaltreated children only in response to the angry target (Pollak et al., 2001). These investigators suggested that these findings demonstrated that there was specificity in maltreated children's differential processing of emotional information, and that maltreated children are uniquely sensitive to detecting anger over other facial expressions of emotion.
Research on the development of emotional experience and understanding in childhood suggests considerable similarity between children's and adults' appraisals of events, although some key differences are also noteworthy. Regarding appraisal similarity, research shows continuity across development in the basic types of appraisals that elicit discrete emotions. For instance, in the first year of life, infants display facial expressions of happiness in response to success at instrumental attempts to attain a goal, anger when goals are obstructed, fear when danger is threatened (e.g., fear of heights), and sadness at losses (Alessandri, Sullivan, & Lewis, 1990 Campos, Bertenthal, & Kermoian, 1992 Lewis, Sullivan, Ramsay, & Alessandri, 1992 Sroufe & Waters, 1977 Stenberg, Campos, & Emde, 1983 for reviews see Lewis, 2000 Witherington, Campos, & Hertenstein, 2001). Levine and colleagues directly compared children's and adults' appraisals of, and memories for, several emotional events (Levine,...
According to appraisal theories, emotions such as happiness, fear, anger, and sadness are elicited by different interpretations of events and are associated with different physiological responses, motivational states, and problem-solving strategies. These characteristics of emotional experiences should influence the type of information people deem to be important or central and, therefore, the type of information they attend to and remember. Thus discrete emotions may serve as a powerful organizing force, not just for behavior but for perception and memory as well (Dalgleish, 2004 Frijda, 1986 Lerner & Keltner, 2000 Oatley & Johnson-Laird, 1987 Roseman, Wiest, & Swartz, 1994 Stein & Levine, 1987). For example, happiness is elicited when people appraise events as conducive to the attainment of their goals. Happiness has been found to exert a variety of cognitive and behavioral effects that Fredrickson (1998) has characterized as broaden-and-build tendencies. That is, happiness promotes...
The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches There's something about being a mom that makes us want to do everything possible for our kids. Well, why not Don't we hope that our children will have every opportunity for happiness and success That's why we're so brilliant at packing in all those special classes, rehearsals, team practices, and private coaching for our budding little geniuses every day. It's a marvel how we're able to multitask from dawn to midnight. But is all this frenzy in our children's best interests Do they really need so much Real moms don't think so. They recognize that their influence will be far greater if they center instead on only those things that they feel matter most. So they focus on the real stuff being clear about their family's values. Real moms know that kids must have a moral code to live by and that they will learn that code through you but Sticking to What Matters Boosts Your Happiness Doing Good for Others Is a Happiness Booster Marilyn Perlyn recognized that...
Fourth, I am always grateful, ranging from my mother who saved me in the pool to my patients who continually provide me life lessons. I am grateful for my wonderful teachers who inspired me, talented teammates who build success with me, and loving family members who unconditionally support me. Being appreciative will beneficially influence the behavior of the people in your life and make folks want to spend time with you. And finally, you will find joy and happiness through gratitude, and this is the ultimate grading scale for success.
Laurence Steinberg is one of the country's most distinguished psychologists, a professor of psychology at Temple University, and author of The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting. He says, The strongest and most consistent predictor of children's mental health, adjustment, happiness, and well-being is the level of involvement of their parents in their life. Children with involved parents do better in school, feel better about themselves, are less likely to develop emotional problems, and are less likely to take risks or get into trouble. There is nothing more important to your child's psychological development than your deep and sustained involvement. This is true whether your child is an infant, a teenager, or at any point in between.
Positive Pushing How to Raise a Successful and Happy Child, by Jim Taylor (New York Hyperion, 2005). Dr. Taylor shows that achievement and happiness can be mutually inclusive. By providing active guidance and positive support, parents free their children to seek out and pursue true success and happiness in life.
Of course, no kid will fit exactly into any of these general categories after all, the Big Brat Factor encompasses a wide spectrum of behaviors and attitudes and ranges from minor to major infractions. But seriously ask yourself if there's anything in these brat types that strikes a nerve or sounds even vaguely familiar. Nobody knows your child better than you do, so check your own instincts and ask yourself whether parenting is bringing you more stress than joy, more pain than happiness, more pangs than rewards. Do you fear that you're becoming the kind of parent you swore you'd never be More nag than nurturer More yeller than listener More scolder than cheerleader Most important, are you really worried that your kid is on the wrong track and needs an immediate makeover for her rude, insensitive ways Then go with your instinct it's time
The child whose parents have catered to his demands expressed through crying or temper is likely to believe that his place in the world is assured as long as people are serving him. Kids who have been kept happy by their parents become more and more sullen and demanding every year. Pampered kids fail to learn self-discipline because they don't get the opportunities to make their own mistakes and learn from the consequences. Kids whose parents fear their unhappiness often end up angry with their parents when they realize they haven't adequately learned to run their own lives or make their own decisions. Remember, true happiness comes from doing great things that make us proud of ourselves, not receiving great things from others.
Experiencing frustration and learning how to handle it allows the child to learn that meaningful feelings of happiness can come from within themselves, not from external material items. True happiness comes from a secure and confident belief in our own ability to affect others in a positive way. True happiness does not come from how many things we have. The more external things a child gets, particularly when the child gets them with very little of his own effort, the more misdirected the child becomes in learning about what truly brings happiness and contentment to a person. Show me a child who gets many things for very little of his own effort, and I'll show you an unhappy child who doesn't take good care of those things. Why should he He has gotten used to a world where things just keep coming to him regardless of how little energy he expends.
To live a successful life as an adult, a child needs to become a successful problem solver. Children need to acquire the skills to help them deal with adult life's unexpected challenges how to cope with an unwanted pregnancy, a retrenchment when you have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay, the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, or the numerous other problems we inevitably encounter. Whether we're dealing with such major issues or life's day-to-day hassles, effective problem-solving skills are one of the essential requirements to living a more contented childhood and adulthood. People who are effective problem solvers report greater feelings of happiness and well-being, while poor problem solvers have fewer choices, feel less in control, and are more likely to become anxious and depressed. Teaching appropriate problem-solving skills prevents many mood disorders and maladaptive behaviors, and enhances the quality of life.
As social, interactive beings, our ability to create and maintain warm, caring, empathic relationships is one of the essential building blocks for future psychological and social maturity and happiness (Burns & Street, 2003 Thompson & Gullone, 2003). Several authors claim that the highly valued individualism of modern Western culture is not conducive to the development of prosocial behaviors (Burns & Street, 2003 George, 1999 Gullone, 2000). When children develop empathy, caring, and compassion for another person, they are less likely to engage in violence, aggression, or other conduct disorders. Learning positive relationship skills is healthy, both emotionally and physically, as it improves immune system functioning and lowers rates of cancer, cholesterol, and premature death (Seligman, 2002 Valliant, 2002).
Human beings can experience many different emotions, but they can be simplified into four basic feelings happiness, sadness, anger and fear (or 'glad, sad, mad and bad'). Just like the prime colours of red, blue and yellow - which create a variety of shades of colour - there are numerous varieties and combinations of feelings (see later in this chapter).
If you're like most working parents, the thought of summer fills you with happiness and dread. How will you keep your child occupied all those weeks How will you fit summer fun into your already strained schedule and budget Your child, too, may feel thrilled that he's finished the school year but concerned about the changes ahead.
As I have already written in previous chapters, Luke, Ben and Joe are on special diets and I am sure many of you reading this have children who also have special dietary needs for whatever reason. Whilst in an ideal world, families ofchildren on special diets would all eat the same foods and everyone would bake together and eat together in a perfect picture of family harmony and happiness, some things just are not ideal
P ositive emotions have an undoing effect on negative emotions, asserts Fredrickson (2000), adding that desired feelings such as joy, interest, and contentment broaden a person's thought-action repertoire, in turn building enduring resources for survival and well-being. This is much the same principal as Joseph Wolpe established with reciprocal inhibition and systematic desensitization You overcome the undesired emotion by creating the desired one. For parents, teachers, and child therapists this means that the more you help a child discover and experience his or her potential for creating happiness and well-being, the less likely that child is to experience anxiety, depression, or anger. Appropriately managing emotions also involves learning that there are times when grief, though painful, may be an appropriate process of adjustment, or that fear, though uncomfortable, may prevent a child's entering into a dangerous situation.
The Lesson a Real Mother Teaches Probably the one thing every woman wants most is a healthy child. We pray our kids will be blessed with good health, but we also desperately hope life will bring them happiness. Unfortunately, all too many children aren't dealt easy life sentences. The array of difficulties might include autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, chronic illness, depression, or hearing impairments. But whatever the issue, real mothers know that some things can be changed and some can't. And real moms realize that accepting what can't be changed is a big secret to helping their children cope with their challenges and get on with their lives. And so
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