Parenting: The Key to the Happy Child Baby and family

What does good education mean? Experts agree on one thing: It is important to support the personality of children so that they can have stable, happy relationships later in life, be successful - and remain as healthy as possible physically and mentally. But how do you do it? Which skills and abilities play a key role in this? Here are the top three.
Parenting: The Key to the Happy Child Baby and family

1. Optimism
"Would fate grant you a wish for your child: wish him optimism," says the American Nobel laureate and psychologist Dr. Daniel Kahneman. Optimists, according to the researcher, "deal better with defeats. Your immune system is stronger." Studies also show that you are better at school , have success in your job and live longer.

Researchers also know from twin studies: Confidence has a genetic component. Parents can still do a lot to increase their child's ability. The most important thing: children learn on the model. If the mood at home is optimistic, the likelihood that children will also be optimistic increases.

How your child becomes an optimist:
The right criticism: scolding sometimes has to be. Parents should still think about how to pack such messages. This affects whether the child later thinks positively or negatively about himself. And you should avoid two words: "never" and "always". For Dr. Martin E. Seligman, a psychologist and happiness researcher from the United States, includes such terms in the "vocabulary of pessimism" because they make people believe that things are unchangeable. A typical pessimistic rant reads like this: "You are always so cheeky!" Seligman advises to put the whole thing into perspective: "Today you are cheeky." This shows the child that you are not criticized, but your behavior - and that can be changed.

The right attitude: Children whose parents remain optimistic despite problems and who are committed to making the world a better place are more confident about the future. Finnish social scientists found that out. Children in families who were committed to others were happiest . And you can do that from an early age - regardless of whether you save toads or mow the lawn in a sports club.

2. Empathy
"The ability to empathize with others plays a key role in today's society," says Australian researcher Dr. Brad M. Farrant from the University of Western Australia / Perth. Empathic children, says developmental psychologist Prof. Silvia Wiedebusch from the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, "are less aggressive, less selfish, can integrate better into groups and cooperate with others". All of these are cheap skills in a world where teamwork is becoming increasingly important.

Almost all parents have already observed: a baby is crying, other babies in the room join in the howling. A first sign of empathy? Research says: no. "In babies there is still no empathy with another person's state of mind," explains Wiedebusch. Rather, it is an "emotional infection". When someone screams, the rest of them automatically take part. In order to understand other people's feelings, a child must first be able to distinguish between himself and others - at the earliest one and a half. Between the ages of two and three, a phase begins that scientists call "self-centered empathy". Children do show helpful reactions, but above all they do what would help them in a particular situation. So dad is sad offer him the teddy bear. After all, he consoles them too. Only from about three years on, the little ones understand what it really means to empathize with the emotional world of others.

How parents can promote empathy:
Emotional conversations: A study by researcher Farrant shows that children understand other people better if their mothers often talk to them about the feelings of others, for example when reading aloud . Children then also develop "the opportunity to reflect on their own handling of feelings and to receive suggestions for coping strategies," says Wiedebusch.

A positive role model: children observe exactly how parents behave in situations in which others are not doing well. "If parents show compassion and respond to the feelings of those affected, the child learns from this positive role model," explains expert Wiedebusch.

Inductive parenting style: This is what psychologists call it when parents explain to their children the consequences of their actions. In conflict situations, parents should therefore always appeal to their children's feelings: "How would you feel if other children laughed at you?" Or: "How would you feel if someone took your toy away from you?"

3. Confidence
"If you feel strong, you don't easily become a victim," says psychologist Wiedebusch. For this, children need self-confidence. Parents can strengthen it by paying attention and recognition to their offspring - and by encouraging them to test their own abilities over and over again. It starts with building a wooden tower out of building blocks. "A baby then realizes: I have the ability to achieve goals. That increases self-efficacy," says Wiedebusch. Those who feel that they can influence their environment feel important and good.

This strengthens the child's self-confidence:
See the positive side of the child: In everyday stress, parents often concentrate on what is not working well, what the child is not good at or what they are upset about. Change your perspective and write down: What is my child good at? And then: Praise it - not only with words, but also with gestures and looks.

Promoting Skills: A person's self-worth also depends on what they can do. Therefore: What are the talents of the little one? What can it do? You should specifically promote this .