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What Every Parent Should Know About “Happily Ever After”

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On any given day, kids and teens may feel joy, wonder, disappointment, rage, jealousy, and endless other emotions. Yet, many kids will inevitably learn from parents or peers that “happy” is the only emotion acceptable to express or even experience. “Happiness” in our culture tends to reign supreme as the highest aspiration – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is what we are taught to aim for – what we all deserve.

I commonly hear parents say to their kids:

  1. I just want you to be happy.
  1. “How can you be so down? Just look at all you have to be happy about.”
  1. Just focus on the positive. You’re dragging everyone down.”

Though these parents have good intentions, their statements might imply that if kids are not contented, they are somehow failing, or that happiness is the only feeling others are comfortable with. Children may respond to these messages by feigning a cheerful disposition and generally suppressing negative feelings to please parents. Unfortunately, suppressing feelings can compromise a child’s psychological well-being and fuel unhealthy behaviors.

Pain is a critical part of the human experience and in most cases, it is healthiest to confront it head on. Encourage children to acknowledge and accept emotions, such as anger or hurt, by using mindfulness meditation strategies. If your child seems overwhelmed by her emotions, encourage her to find a way to express them: talk to someone she trusts, write in a journal, create a work of art, or see a mental health therapist. Let us teach children that no one’s life is solely full of sunshine and that to live fully, we must stand in the occasional rainstorm.

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The Power of Emulating LOVE

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Mark Twain once said that he could go for two months on a good compliment.
Sincere compliments build self esteem in ourselves and others,and foster feelings of good will, peace and thus harmony.
To quote Leo Buscaglia, “Honest compliments are simple, and cost nothing to give…we must not underestimate their worth.”
Here is a list of phrases that are complimentary in nature that are easy to use.  Try them!
 *  You make me happy!
 *  I trust you.
*  I like it when you…
*  I know you can do this.
*  You are special.
*  I am grateful for you.
*  I love you.
*  I believe in you.
*  I am proud of you.
Because nearly everyone appreciates a compliment, be sure to use them daily.  The primary reason being, “The life and love we create is the life and love we live.”  L. Buscagia
For more inspirational thoughts related to creating abundant relationships of LOVE, please refer to any or all of these publications authored by; Leo Buscagia, Ph.D.
“Born for Love, Reflections on loving”
“Personhood,  The art of being fully human”
“Loving each other, The challenge of Human Relationships”
“Living, Learning and Loving”
“LOVE, A warm and wonderful book about the Largest experience in life”
“Bus 9 to Paradise”
“The way of the Bull”
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