How giving leads to happiness for young children
My daughter Lily often goes out of her way to share—unless it’s her favorite flamingo doll. It turns out that this sharing activity can actually lead to higher levels of happiness. In a 2012 study, researchers found that before the age of two, toddlers experience greater levels of happiness when giving treats to others than receiving treats themselves.
Sharing, of course, is an activity that we’d want to encourage as parents because no one wants to raise a child that is spoiled. There are many ways that parents can teach children to share:
- It’s not just about objections – Sharing can also be about sharing time, turns, and themselves. Young children can learn to take turns, wait until dad is done washing dishes to read a book, or to share their own time to help a friend feel better.
- For the upcoming holidays – Consider sponsoring another family. As a family, you can work with your children to pick out gifts for another family in need.
- Donate unused toys & books – Declutter your home and spread joy to others by donating old toys and books to a charity or give them away on Facebook marketplace!
Karsen and I went deeper on this topic in this week’s Quick Tip episode:
The best parenting is random and sometimes wacky
The truth is that whatever drumbeat you march to, all parents would agree that we just want our kids to be happy. It seems like a no-brainer, right? But in the face of all the many parenting theories out there, happiness feels like it has become incidental. That’s where The Happy Kid Handbook by child and adolescent psychotherapist and parenting expert Katie Hurley comes in.
She shows parents how happiness is the key to raising confident, capable children. It’s not about giving in every time your child wants something so they won’t feel bad when you say no, or making sure that they’re taking that art class, and the ballet class, and the soccer class (to help with their creativity and their coordination and all that excess energy).
Check out this week’s 10-minute parenting book summary:
Links we like
The parenting content we’d share if we were in your group text.
- First, there’s 4 phrases that you should stop saying to your kids —CNBC
- Theres 3 reasons to think twice about paying for your kid’s college —AP
- The latest toy craze are these Pop It! bubble wrap toys —NY Times
- Women still do more of the housework, and here’s how to share the load —WSJ
- Lastly, after infant deaths, millions of Boppy loungers have been recalled —Newsweek
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See you next week,