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Looking after your well-being

Family well-being consists of ordinary everyday routines.

A mother is playing a board game with the child on the livingroom floor while the father is reading a book on the couch.

During busy times, parents may have to spend all their time on cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children. In times like these, it is easy to forget seeing friends and doing things together as a family.

People have different needs. For some, exercise is the most vital part of well-being, to someone else it is family and friends, and to others work or interests.

Each family member can promote their own well-being and the well-being of other family members. 

  • How do you encounter your child, partner and other loved ones every day?
  • What kind of routines does your family have?
  • How are the everyday chores managed and divided?
  • What do you do during your leisure time?
  • Do you take good enough care of yourself?
  • Does everyone have the chance to partake in some enjoyable activities?
  • Do you have enough time together?

Body and mind both need exercise, rest, food and fun activities. Being together as a family is important to the children and the adults. The Together with the family page has tips on what families could do together.

By taking care of your relationship with your partner and other relationships, you also promote your family’s well-being. You can find more information through the link bar. 

More information on family meal choices:

Tips for taking care of yourself:

  1. Remember to take care of your own needs. In the midst of everyday chores, it is easy to forget about yourself. Stop and think about what you really need and what you want to do. 
  2. Take some time for yourself, for example, one small moment a day, one hour a week or one day once a month. Sometimes you will have to say no to someone in order to get some time for yourself.
  3. Remember that your well-being is important for the whole family’s well-being. When you take care of yourself, you will be better able to spend time with your family and enjoy it. This will also make your children and other family members feel better.

 

Kids’Skills and happiness

Source: psychiatrist Ben Furman, MuksuoppiAppi

Using the Kids’Skills steps promotes happiness in children not only by helping them overcome problems but also in many other ways, including:

  1. Hope
    Happiness i hope. Kids’Skills makes children more hopeful by promoting agency It helps your child realise they can improve their own circumstances by learning new skills.
  2. Success
    Happiness is linked to mastery. The Kids’Skills steps offer your child plenty of opportunities to experience success..
  3. Friendship
    Making friends and enjoying their company is closely linked to happiness. The Kids’Skills steps strengthen your child’s relationships with their peers because they can ask their friends to support them, and also invite them to participate in celebrating when a new skill has been learned
  4. Family relations
    Getting along well with your parents is linked with happiness. The Kids’Skills steps improve a child’s relationship with their parents by influencing the way the parents view their child, not as a problem case but as someone who needs encouragement and support to learn new skills.
  5. Compassion
    Feeling that you are liked and appreciated by others is linked with happiness. Kids’Skills helps adults be compassionate in their relationships with children because most of us feel this way about children who are making an effort to solve a problem by learning a new skill.
  6. Gratefulness
    Feelings of gratitude are linked with happiness. Kids’Skills promotes gratefulness in your child by asking them to first name their supporters and then coaching them how to express gratitude to these individuals when they have learned a new skill.
  7. Adult collaboration
    The feeling that adults who care for a child are in agreement and collaborating is linked to happiness. Using the Kids’Skills steps helps adults work together because the focus is on skills rather than on problems, making collaborating easier and reducing the likelihood that adults engage in blaming.
  8. Self-determination
    Happiness is linked with the feeling that you can make decisions concerning yourself because you have control over your life. Kids’Skills respects this human need by encouraging your child to participate in all decisions during each step in the process.

Conclusion

Kids’Skills is not just a method for helping children overcome problems. It has the additional benefit of promoting happiness in children through the mechanisms outlined in this section.

Helping children become happier

Source: psychiatrist Ben Furman, MuksuoppiAppi

If a clear-cut problem is causing your child to be unhappy, obvious strategies are either to help them overcome it or help them learn how to cope with it. On those occasions when a specific problem does not exist, or when the problem cannot be solved, try focusing on helping your child acquire universal life skills that contribute to being happy.

These skills include:

Optimism

Being optimistic is a skill that can be learned, cultivated and used. You can help children learn this skill by modelling optimism for them: try speaking in an optimistic manner or deciding to learn together how to be optimistic. There are games you can play that can help children understand optimism. One of these involves fantasising that something good will come out of every bad thing that happens. For example, if you miss the bus while you’re together, practise imagining that something good will result, such as bumping into someone you’d be happy to meet, or being able to return home to pick up something you have forgotten.

Being grateful

Experiencing feelings of gratitude is a skill that we can learn and cultivate in many ways. One way of teaching your child about being grateful, for example, is to take a moment at bedtime and help them think about things, which happened during their day that they can feel grateful about.

Helping others

Helping other people, caring for animals or plants, or performing simple acts of kindness all make us happier. Offer your child opportunities to help or care for others, and help them appreciate how such acts have a positive effect on their wellbeing.

Calming your mind

Relaxing, meditating, being mindful, winding down… solutions to being troubled or stressed have many names. Learning the skill of calming your mind has many benefits; your brain works better, learning is quicker, and both your mental health and your overall wellbeing improve. Teach your child - or start learning together - some method of calming their mind such as yoga, meditation or other technique that helps their brain wind down.

Joy in success

Experiencing success makes a great contribution to being happy. Achieving major successes is not essential - you can help your child learn the skill of experiencing success simply by guiding them into paying attention to the small successes that often pass unnoticed. Give them a sign such as a thumbs-up to indicate that they have succeeded with something, and adopt the habit of asking them “How did you do that?” to help them pause and think about why they were successful.

Greeting others

Greeting others in a kind manner is a habit that contributes to happiness. Teach your child the skill of greeting others by shaking hands, by hugging, or by asking questions that show interest in the people they meet. An additional skill worth learning is how to compliment others – it’s an excellent way of improving human relationships.

Getting in touch with nature

Closer contact with nature has been clearly demonstrated as contributing to human happiness. Help your child enjoy the natural world by offering them suitable opportunities, or by doing things together that are connected with nature such as gardening or caring for animals.

Exercise

Physical exercise plays a significant role in being happy. Offer your child plenty of ways of exercising – including climbing, jumping, trekking, running, playing ball games, swimming, gymnastics and cycling. Offering to teach your child a sport that you enjoy so you can enjoy it together is also a great idea. Team sports offer the bonus of developing your child’s social skills.

Learning new skills

Happiness goes hand-in-hand with learning new skills. Whatever we are learning – how to do a somersault, play the piano or speak another language – the learning process itself generates happiness. Mastering a new skill gives children the opportunity to experience success, and also to feel grateful to everyone who has supported them in the learning process.

Having fun

Children love clowning, fooling, being silly, acting, joking, tickling, laughing, dancing, giggling, magic tricks, amusing films, dressing up, games, pranks, parties, pillow fights… Having fun is a major contributor to being happy. Cultivate your child’s ability to experience joy and have fun – you’ll be helping them learn how to find joy and happiness in their lives.

Conclusion

Being happy can be thought of as a learnable skill that consists of several components. A number of these components - skills that contribute to happiness – are listed in this section. In your turn, you can contribute to your child’s happiness by cultivating these skills and helping your child learn them. The list given here is in no way exhaustive. Many more activities and skills contribute to human happiness, including being friendly, smiling, being helpful, employing good manners, speaking up, possessing conflict resolution skills, being ready to apologise and being able to forgive.

Tips on how to relax and explore nature: Green well-being (Vihreää hyvinvointia), Sitra



08.02.2019 14:24