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As parents, we all want our kids to be happy, fulfilled, and at peace in their lives. And while we can’t promise them sunshine and rainbows all of the time, some major keys can help us to ensure they are feeling their best.

If you’ve ever seen a parent who had a child that seemed effortlessly happy, and at peace in their lives and their environment, I assure you that wasn’t by accident. Even if the parent isn’t aware of how their techniques are working, there are habits and techniques at play that are helping them to be strong in their parenting game. If you are trying to up your parenting skills and help your kids to become happy and well-adapted, there are most definitely a handful of tips that will help you to get there.

1. They have a routine.

Life is already confusing, chaotic, and unstable enough when you are a child. Every day is a new development stage and because they lack control over their environments and lives, they are often left feeling powerless, which is sure to put them on edge. Only making things that much harder is when they feel no uncertainty or stability in their lives because there is no routine. Imagine being a small child and never knowing what was coming next. It can make it hard for them to learn what is expected of them because everything is up in the air. When you give them a routine they can count on, it’s much easier for your child to acclimate to it.

For parents looking to establish effective routines, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg offers insightful strategies on creating and maintaining beneficial habits for both parents and children.

2. They don’t get everything they want.

It might sound counterproductive, but when you give your child everything they ask for, they grow to become entitled. They will never appreciate what you do for them, but instead, will only expect to get what they want. When your child doesn’t get everything they want, they will be far happier with what they do have.

3. They are given a level of independence.

It might be tempting to stand over your child, working to prevent them from feeling discomfort or being harmed. However, when you do so, they never get any time to play on their own or to establish themselves as a presence in the world. While it may be tough, try to let them do some age-appropriate things on their own. Give them chores. Let them take the steps without you. Let them engage in free play.

To encourage healthy independence in children, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child” by John Gottman is an excellent resource, offering guidance on how to support emotional growth and autonomy in kids.

4. They have happy parents.

While you cannot be happy all the time (who is) you can strive to work on your mental health and growth. The happier and more secure you are in the world, the easier it is for your child to do the same. Your kids pick up on your mood – so if you are always stressed and depressed, your kids will be too.

For parents focusing on their happiness and mental health, The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin is a great read, providing practical tips on finding joy in everyday life, which in turn positively impacts children.

5. They get quality time with their parents.

Make quality time a priority with your kids. They need this time for socializing, for their development, and because they crave connection with you. They won’t remember the toys you bought them when they get older, what they will remember is whether or not you were present for them.

6. They are allowed to be themselves.

Instead of trying to make your child conform to what you want them to be, embrace their weirdness. If they like to dress fun and be different, let them. If they talk to imaginary friends, let them. While you may believe that they will be just like you, they might likely be extremely the opposite. It might be tempting to make them more like you, but remember this isn’t about you. They are their person.

7. Their parents teach them gratitude.

Instill gratitude in your child by asking them what they are grateful for. You can even develop a gratitude practice in which you name things each day you are both grateful for. This will push their perspective to a more positive place.

To help inculcate gratitude in children, The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life” by Janice Kaplan can be a useful guide for parents to foster an attitude of gratitude in the family.

8. Their parents allow them to fail.

Yet again, it might sound counterproductive, but hear me out: let your child fail sometimes. I know it sounds odd, but when you allow them to fail, they can learn how to adapt to failure and when things do not go their way. It will make them more resilient and pitfalls won’t make them fall apart.