I think no one will disagree with the point that raising happy children is “the holy grail of parenting success”. What else can be more satisfying for a parent than to see his/her child living a happy life and growing into a happy adult? I would now like to put two different questions here for the readers: “What is happiness for a child and what makes a child happy?”
It’s very interesting to note that a wide majority of parents believe a physically healthy child is a happy child. It’s partially true but it’s also important here to note that happiness in actual is a byproduct of not only physical but also emotional well being (which for some strange reason we often overlook).
The basics for a child’s good physical health include a nutritious balanced diet, sufficient shelter and sleep, regular exercise, immunizations and a healthy living environment. At the same time, it’s equally important for parents to give due consideration to his/her mental health as well. The biggest challenge for a parent comes when the kids starts “acting out”. It’s the phase where the parents are perplexed with two big questions, “Why is my child acting strange? What does my child really want?” At that point in time, it’s very important for parents to understand the message being communicated by the child because the behavioral change has a very strong reason behind it.
An expert on the subject, Sofia Bilgrami, CEO of STOIS shares her personal experience on the subject. She says, “At one point it felt like my son had been in the ‘hitting phase’ forever, but with some guidance and a lot of repetition I realized he only used to hit when he struggled to communicate verbally or felt anxious.” Bilgrami is known for her work on child development, quoted an example that has been faced by a countless number of parents – the exhausting and frightening experience when their child refuses to eat anything. “There are many things that could be the cause for this, but an underlying medical problem such as acid reflux, constipation or maybe even a sensory aversion could be the root cause,” she explains.
Sofia reiterates that it’s vital for parents to know that if their guts are telling them something about the change in the child’s behaviour their parental instinct is probably right. Not to lose all hope though, as Sofia suggests that “many difficulties that kids face can be worked on through acts of the play and play therapies- sometimes with the help of a licensed professional if you need additional support. As parents you just need to be more alert with these behavioral changes.”