What Children Can Teach Us About Happiness


What Children Can Teach Us About Happiness



Melissa Sher says that kids are 'happiness experts'.


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The How of Happiness. The Now of Happiness. The Tao of Happiness. Looking for Happiness. Map To Happiness. Finding Happiness. Authentic Happiness. True Happiness. The Happiness Hypothesis. The Happiness Plan. The Happiness Project. The Happiness Solution. The Happiness Diet. And my favorite, Eat Your Way To Happiness.
Books on happiness are almost as popular as ones about teenage vampires in love. Yet, for those of us with small children, it's hard to find time to read an entire book (or rinse shampoo out of our hair). But here's the good news: we're surrounded by real-life examples of people who are successfully pursuing happiness each and every day.

 
Yes. Young children are messy, loud, drippy and don't know how to wipe themselves. But, they're also pretty freakin' happy. And so, even though I don't have the time or energy to read a 250-page book, I have been watching my children. (I'm actually legally required to watch my children because I was told keeping a baby monitor turned up really, really high isn't proper parental supervision.) Here's why I think little kids are happiness experts.

1. They are honest
If a five year old tells you that you're the most beautiful mommy in the world, he thinks you are. If he also tells you that your bare legs remind him of daddy's beard, he thinks that as well.

2. They're Cheap Dates Too
Sure, you can take them to the zoo. But, you can also take them out back to look at squirrels, and then you don't have to pay for parking.

3. They're Funny
Naturally. And, sometimes, on purpose. Be warned, however, little-kid jokes are difficult to follow because most have no punch line. Also, you can't assume a joke is over because your child is laughing. Nine times out of ten, when a kid tells a joke, she's going to laugh from beginning to end.

4. They're Uninhibited
They'll dress themselves in fairy wings, a tutu and galoshes to go to the grocery store. Once there, they'll break into song in the cereal aisle. Having a kid is probably a lot like living with Zooey Deschanel.
 
5. They're Good At Keeping Secrets
Okay. Just kidding. They're absolutely, positively terrible at keeping secrets. They're the worst secret keepers EVER. But, hey, they're just kids. They can't be good at everything.

6. They Don't Mind Getting Dirty
You might mind, but they don't.

7. They Don't Hold Grudges
Sure, little kids fight. But when it's over, it's over. They don't stew. They don't stay mad for weeks. They don't gossip on the phone about Max getting extra Goldfish during snack time. This is exactly why "Real Housewives" doesn't revolve around the lives of a bunch of four year olds.

8. They're Curious
"Why aren't bananas juicy?" "How did the first person who made pancakes know how to make pancakes?" "How did the baby get into your tummy?" There's so much to learn. And looking for answers to life's infinite puzzles makes for an interesting individual. I wish I were more curious. I should ask more questions. How does pressing a button on a remote control turn off the TV? What turns hair gray?" You would think I'd really want to get to the bottom of that one.

9. They Play
And they don't even do it because it will look good on their résumés.

10. They're Not Afraid To Show Their Feelings
The good, the bad and the ugly. And, by ugly, I mean the things you have to apologize for on your child's behalf using lame excuses like "needs to eat" or "missed his nap." Because no one wants to publicly admit that their child is actually rested and well fed... and just poorly behaved.

This post originally appeared on Huffington Post
 
 
 

31 comments

   

Sarah Bradley on 29 June 2012 13:55
honesty!!! so true, although im sure there are times when its better for the lil angel to keep shut!!! I enjoy these anecdotal articles as they always make me smile with familiarity!


   

Kaye-Marie Mccaskill on 29 June 2012 13:47
Haha, yes my kids always seem to put a smile on my dial everyday.


   

Lorraine Hogan on 29 June 2012 13:46
This is sooo true...simply love everything written here! Has put a smile on my face for today...and given that its Friday...a doubly big smile... Thanks guys - totally awesome :-)


   

Lisa Clarke on 29 June 2012 13:34
So very true!


   

Lisa Clarke on 29 June 2012 13:33
So so true!!


   

Helen Rowse on 29 June 2012 13:33
so very true, i love how having kids makes you stop and see things through there eyes,what may not be funny to us is hillarious to them : )


   

Lisa Clarke on 29 June 2012 13:33
So so true!!


   

Lara Scott on 29 June 2012 13:31
We all need to let our our inner 5 year old once in a while and kids sure do help you to do this :) Really loved this and so true :)


   

Natasha Stokes on 29 June 2012 13:30
Having a child definitely makes you appreciate more each day! The world is such wonderful place through their eyes!


   

Caz Marshall on 29 June 2012 13:27
"Having a kid is probably a lot like living with Zooey Deschanel." but better!! awesome article guys! love it


   

Edna Yong on 29 June 2012 13:27
So true!


   

Karen Simpson on 29 June 2012 13:26
Awesome article made me smile right the way through am going to hug my baby so tight when he wakes up :)


   

Nikki Smith on 29 June 2012 13:24
This is so tru.. and thanks to my little girl i get to be a kid again and have fun with her!! :)


   

Jess Lindsay on 29 June 2012 13:23
found you Thru facebook .. what a great outlook interested to read more now


   

Danielle Smith on 29 June 2012 17:03
Love number2


   

Tamara Gray on 29 June 2012 15:47
After having my first baby I am looking forward to when she does things like in this article children are true blessings and very loveable :)


   

Teena Haddon on 29 June 2012 15:32
This is so true. So looking forward to going through all this again


   

Tina Kalolo on 29 June 2012 15:16
100% agreed my Kids make me happy with all the smiles they give me :)


   

Melissa Walton on 29 June 2012 15:15
Aren't kids amazing! Number 10 stood out to me. I strive to be okay with the good, the bad and the ugly of my daughter's feelings. She'll learn soon enough how to express them appropriately I'm sure!


   

Tara Moala on 29 June 2012 15:08
I so agree! I have to keep remembering to learn from my kids. Infact, this article has inspired me to leave the washing, nappies, dishes all alone and have some fun for dinner tonight instead! I'm going to leave it up to my 3 yr old son to decide what we do for the rest of the day and night!


   

Tara Moala on 29 June 2012 14:59
I so agree! I have to keep remembering to learn from my kids. Infact, this article has inspired me to leave the washing, nappies, dishes all alone and have some fun for dinner tonight instead! I'm going to leave it up to my 3 yr old son to decide what we do for the rest of the day and night!


   

Tara Moala on 29 June 2012 14:59
I so agree! I have to keep remembering to learn from my kids. Infact, this article has inspired me to leave the washing, nappies, dishes all alone and have some fun for dinner tonight instead! I'm going to leave it up to my 3 yr old son to decide what we do for the rest of the day and night!


   

Annette Hynes on 29 June 2012 14:36
I love how honest kids are, they just tell it like it is!


   

Sterryn Roycroft on 29 June 2012 14:35
So true! It would be lovely to be a kid again and not have to hide emotions. I would love to spit out food I didn't like and cry for no reason at the supermarket just because I didn't want to be there! :)


   

Kelly Biddick on 29 June 2012 14:28
Very true indeed :)


   

Abby Lynch-Sargent on 29 June 2012 14:23
Funny read and very true. I make the most of every moment with my baby- they grow so quick but so much to look forward to as well.


   

Abby Lynch-Sargent on 29 June 2012 14:23
Funny read and very true. I make the most of every moment with my baby- they grow so quick but so much to look forward to as well.


   

Kate Begovich on 29 June 2012 14:18
This is Brilliant!! And so very true, i love the absolute innocence, expression and honesy of my wee girl in every thing she does - living my life with a toddler keeps me young.... and sometimes tired! :) But love her more and more everyday!


   

Shajitha Parveen on 29 June 2012 14:04
Good One. My Son makes me happy always. I always want to stay with him and see what he does. We can learn many many things from kids. I love my son :)


   

Jess Mcalinden on 02 July 2012 14:03
They don't mind getting dirty... the most fun days are the rainy ones where you put on your jacket and gummies and ride your bike through puddles.... the muddier the better!


   

Wendy Owles on 16 July 2012 21:21
How true what a shame that we tend to loose a lot of these traits when we become adults.... reading this brighten my day and made me think about what changes I can make in my attitudes :-)


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