What Makes Happy Kids?I decided to start by asking my 6 year old daughter her opinion:
Me: What does “happiness” mean to you?
Smarty: Happiness is being happy.
Me: OK. When are you happy?
Smarty: Well, when I don’t have any bad thoughts in my head. When I read and get lost in the book, or when I watch an awesome movie, or when we play games together as a family, or when I eat something yummy.
How Do We Perceive Happiness?
My husband and I both come from cultures not known for their sunny outlook on life. Both Russian and German classic literature is full of stories of mental illness, suffering and sacrifice. However, there is also a message of acceptance and gratitude, of treasuring the present as something that is a gift to be savored. This is why we try not to overschedule our time leaving stretches of time to spend as a family – going places, playing games or simply reading together. Happiness for us doesn’t come from non-stop experiences or ability to buy more and more things (even though I am grateful that we can afford non-essential luxuries of life), but from being with people who we love most.
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