How To Encourage Your Child’s Joy
by Trisha Leigh
If there’s one thing that should be a part of everyone’s childhood, it’s joy. There is no other time in our lives where we’re so free from worry – or at least, we should be – and so, as parents, you might be wondering how to let them hang onto that feeling as long as possible.
If so, here are some tips from child psychologist and author Maureen Healy on how to encourage it.
The first one is to do your best to ensure supportive relationships are in place.
“You need to have someone you can talk to. For an adult, a supportive relationship is ‘who would you call at two in the morning?’ It’s the same thing as a kid: ‘Who can you talk to when you are feeling bullied?'”
Next, try to help your child lean into their strengths.
“Developing their strengths is part of joy. I’ve had parents who have said to me, ‘I have a guitar player, but I wanted a doctor.’ You want to do your best as an adult to unconditionally accept and encourage them. Allow your child to be a voice in participating and finding their joy.”
Last, Healy says you should do your best to set an example for how to get through the tough times – because sometimes life is hard and unfair, and there’s no getting around that fact.
“Some days are lemons, and they’re just lemons; other days they are lemons and you can make lemonade. It’s not about rainbows and unicorns and being perfect, but about doing your best.”
It sounds like all of this is great advice for adults, too, don’t you think?