Some recent scientific studies have found seven positive experiences for children that are linked to these children being at a lower chance of depression when they become adults. These positive experiences were even proven to help individuals who have suffered major trauma during their childhood such as neglect, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or household dysfunctions.
The latest study, run by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, found that adults who have support from friends, family, and the community, both social and emotional, during their childhood would be 72 percent less likely to feel the effects of depression or other mental health issues during adulthood.
The conclusion of the research was that when these seven positive childhood experiences occurred, there was a direct connection to kids growing up as healthier and happier people. This is great news because these seven factors are accessible and achievable for any parent.
Let’s explore these 7 ways your child can be happier
1. They can discuss their feelings openly with their family.
When kids are able to openly discuss their feelings with their family, they become happier, because they learn that it’s okay to feel all emotions, and it’s healthy to express them. Lina Harris, a lifestyle writer at UK Top Writers and Best Australian Writers, explains that “that’s why even when your kids struggle with difficult emotions, it’s important that as parents you don’t shut them down but you help them figure out the best way to express those feelings.”
2. Their family was supportive through thick and thin.
Kids will really benefit from feeling supported and encouraged throughout their childhood. Parents should be giving positive encouragement and making their kids feel loved unconditionally. Don’t make them feel ashamed of going through a difficult time or try to minimize their issues.
3. The family joins in community events.
Whether it’s a charity fundraiser or a community potluck, kids can really take a lot from activities within the community as well as with your family, friends and neighbors. This is not only something that’s fun to do together but will benefit their mental health.
4. They have a good experience at school.
This is a bit more difficult for parents since your child is a lot more independent and what happens at school can be out of your control. However, you want to encourage your child to be true to themselves and find a passion in school (sports, a club, academics, or social activities).
5. They are supported by their friends.
You might feel like this one is out of your control as a parent, but if you can show from early ages how to be a good friend and what a good friend acts like as well as the importance of sharing their feelings with friends, they will be able to look for that in their own friends.
6. Non-parent adults are also supportive.
Children who have at least two adults apart from their parents that are genuinely interested in them is a great benefit. Evan Graham, a psychology blogger at Best British Essays and Revieweal, says that “if your child doesn’t have any good relatives nearby that can be role models, they can form healthy and positive relationships with teachers, sports coaches, or even librarians.”
7. They feel protected and safe at home.
This might seem obvious, but the sad reality is that not every child has the privilege of a safe home life. It’s actually not enough that you’re just providing a safe environment for your child, but it’s making sure that your child knows the security is there and will always be there, even if it’s not explicit.
Since then, there’s been another study released by BYU which supports the results of the research outlined above. This latest study asserted that by having positive childhood factors like good neighbors, a regular diet and home life, and a protective home environment, the harmful effects of childhood experiences could potentially be negated.
There are so many pressures today to make it harder for our children to live safe, happy, and healthy lives. We focus so much on excellence in school, their safety online and protection from cyber-bullying, and more, that we can easily forget the basics to make sure they’re happy beyond childhood into adulthood.
Ellie Coverdale, a lifestyle and career writer for Australian Reviewer and Write My Australia, loves to share her education and happiness tips with her audience. She is a big proponent of modernising the education system to focus on more concrete ways to teach and support our children. Ellie also works as a writing teacher for UK Services Reviews.