Define: Happy

What is happy? A good feeling? A perfect atmosphere? A soothing drink? Nice music?

Does happiness depend on your situation? Should it? Do others affect your happiness? Should they? Or is happiness a skill to be taught and learned -- a state of being that is more a choice than a feeling?

One dictionary definition I came across described happiness as being "favored by circumstances". Another characterizes happiness as being surrounded by positive feelings and activities. Obviously -- that helps. But we simply can't depend on good things happening to us to keep the "happy" flowing. I believe happiness is a choice. A choice driven by our good habits and decisions. A choice that goes beyond environment and circumstances.

31 Days to Happpier Children | Pete and BuzzWe choose to count our blessings. We choose to head outside and look for contentment and joy in nature. We choose to eat foods that encourage optimism. We choose joy. And we are happy.

Isn't happiness a result of positive habit forming and good decision making? Can't parents have a significant part to play in a child's emotional outlook on life? Yes. And yes.

Parents can teach their children happiness habits, such as consciously practicing gratitude.
Parents can model optimism and teach forgiveness.
Parents can make family dinners important {and the conversation they support}.
Parents can help children forge friendships.
Parents can help children deal with pain when they are sad and angry.
Parents can minimize stress and encourage positive environments. 
Parents can model happiness themselves.

Parents CAN raise happy children AND become happier themselves.

Happy Children


In my series, 31 Days to Happier Children, we will explore many things, from emotional intelligence to love languages to organization. I'm doing my best to cover a wide variety of topics -- as many as I can think of that affect my own children's happiness.

Daily posts won't be super long -- hopefully just a little bite of information with some helpful reminders. I've greatly enjoyed writing these posts, because really -- I'm doing this for me. For my kids. Because we all want to be happy. So glad you will be joining me in this 31 day journey!

Day One: What to Expect
Day Two: Life Commandments
Day Three: Invite a Friend
Day Four: Sing Together
Day Five: Independence
Day Six: Serve Others
Day Seven: Sleep
Day Eight: Specific Praise
Day Nine: Work It Out
Day Ten: Break the Rules
Day Eleven: Outdoor Play
Day Twelve: Put On Your Oxygen Mask
Day Thirteen: Bigger Picture Thinking
Day Fourteen: Empathy
Day Fifteen: How to Love
Day Sixteen: Gratitude
Day Seventeen: Love Languages
Day Eighteen: Understimulate
Day Nineteen: Have Clear Expectations
Day Twenty: Age Appropriate Decisions
Day Twenty-One: Eat Vegetables
Day Twenty-Two: Listen to Silence
Day Twenty-Three: Celebrate Together
Day Twenty-Four: Emotional Intelligence
Day Twenty-Five: Organization
Day Twenty-Six: Laugh Together
Day Twenty-Seven: Focus on Your Marriage
Day Twenty-Eight: Teach Values, Respect, Politeness
Day Twenty-Nine: Pray Together
Day Thirty: Adventure Together
Day Thirty-One: Model It

This blog series was written in October of 2011. Since then, I have taken the best info from these posts, done more research and expanded on the ideas, providing examples from our family, and [drumroll] have written an ebook!

To see chapter titles, preview a chapter, or watch the book trailer visit