If you were to make a list of all the things you’d love to provide for your children, what would your list look like? Many people spend every waking hour stressing and worrying about how they can provide this and that for their children, but I want to propose that the BEST gift you can give your child is the ability to be happy and enjoy life.

Most of you reading this are probably thinking, “Yes, absolutely. That would be my greatest wish for my child – for them to be happy and to enjoy life fully everyday.” What goes wrong then between what we genuinely want to give our children and the actual reality of what they get from us?

Statistics show that more and more adults and young adults are popping some type of drug in order to make it through the day. Approximately 100 million prescriptions for Valium and Librium are filled annually in the United States alone!

The plain fact is that most of us do not know how to help our children learn how to enjoy life because we have not learned that simple secret ourselves! We can’t teach what we don’t know.

Here enlies the problem; in order to provide our children with our greatest wish we must be able to model what we are attempting to teach.

It is essential to show our children a portrait of a person who appreciates the small things, the magnificence of nature and the beauty of being quiet with ourselves. It is also essential to show our children a portrait of a happy, loving, communicative relationship, not only with our child’s mother or father, but with ourselves.

Pretend you had a video camera following you around all day. What would that video look like? Would it show you:

* rushing around from one activity to another?
* barking commands?
* constantly talking or having noise around like the radio or TV?
* speaking quickly, in a hurried, worried, stressed or anxious tone?
* constantly providing or being the entertainment for your child?

OR

* living life slowly?
* Laughing and smiling a lot?
* Enjoying moments of silence, not feeling the need to say anything or ask any questions?
* Enjoying alone time while your child enjoys their own?
* Doing an activity with your child that you BOTH enjoy?

Maybe you feel quite good about how your daily life is being lived but recognize that the words or phrases you use could be more positive. For example, you may use the word “Naughty” or phrases like, “Oh, come on!” when something isn’t working as you’d like it to, or “Things never seem to go right!”. These phrases can definitely be picked up on by our children and eventually, become their beliefs to live by.

If we TRULY want to raise happy kids who enjoy life to the fullest, then the first place to start in teaching this is with ourselves.

Right now, take stock of life and think about the speed at which you live, the tone that exists in your home and the messages that are being shared. Once you have a clear view, pat yourself on the back for all the amazing, loving things you do and then make it a priority to work on the things you feel need changing – it will make all the difference to not only your life but your child’s life as well.

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