5 Ways to Raise a Happy Child

We can’t control outside circumstances, but we can choose how we deal with life’s setbacks if we have the right mindset and tools. Today, Mighty Mommy shares 5 ways you can raise happier kids that will in turn grow into solid, well-adjusted adults.

Cheryl Butler
5-minute read
Episode #326

As parents, we have an awesome responsibility to raise thoughtful, independent, self-assured, and productive children.  While those ideals are what I want for my 8 kids, there’s something else I believe is equally important and that’s instilling a foundation of happiness; and by that I mean teaching them how to create and sustain joy on their own, regardless of their circumstances.

Parents are often their children’s biggest role models so fortunately, we are offered countless opportunities during those precious years that we are caring for them to show them healthy lifestyle choices, especially by modeling these things ourselves.  When life throws us a curveball—whether it be a disappointing situation like having our babysitter cancel at the last minute or something more devastating like the unexpected loss of a job, how we react in front of our young kids can leave a lasting impression on them and plant seeds for how they will mimic similar situations in their own lives when things don’t go their way. 

We can’t control outside circumstances but we can choose how we will deal with life’s setbacks if we have the right mindset and tools, so today Mighty Mommy shares 5 ways you can raise happier kids that will in turn grow into solid, well-adjusted adults..

Tip #1:  Turn Mistakes into Learning Opportunities

In our large family, things very rarely go according to plan, so I am thankful that unconditional love and acceptance is part of the norm in our lives.  We all make mistakes, so when we as parents make one (particularly in front of one of our kids) this is the perfect opportunity to own it and even express how we’d handle it differently the next time.

Recently, I was on a cleaning mission and got rid of three stacks of papers that had been sitting on our kitchen counter for weeks.  When my son asked me if I’d seen his science report, I immediately said “no” and that he must have misplaced it in his bedroom or left it in his backpack or locker.  He was certain he had left it in a folder on the kitchen counter and had told me he had placed it there because it needed a parent signature for extra credit.  Sheepishly, I realized he was probably right, and that in my haste to tidy up the kitchen, I had most likely thrown it out in those papers I ditched.  He had spent several hours on that report and didn’t have a copy of it.  I blew it, but I came clean and told him I had mistakenly tossed it.  He was not happy with me one bit, and had to recreate the report because of my actions.  I apologized and told him and the rest of my children that in the future, I would always check in with them before getting rid of any school paperwork, but with the same token, they were going to have to take responsibility for making sure they didn’t leave important papers in places they didn’t belong.   Kids thrive when they know they are accepted and when they grow up knowing mistakes can be learning opportunities—that carries over into adulthood.


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About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.