Saturday, 14 April 2012

What really makes our children happy?

So many children moan about their lack of certain things, so what really does make them happy?

Our daughter seems happiest when we are all together as a family. She enjoys having her Mummy and Daddy with her at weekends and her face lights up being in her Daddy's company. But then, she is only 21 months old!! But what is it that really makes our children content?

Research by Dr Tessa Livingstone in 2011 found that children who spend most of their time alone would be drawn to spending their time on computer games, whilst those who played with other children regularly tended to spend more time outside and most importantly, laughed more!

When talking to my husband and mother in law about his childhood, the stories which came out over and over is the fun he and his brothers had playing with the children in the neighbourhood. They had simple toys and some their parents spend many a month saving for, but they had great fun sharing what they had with their friends!!

This is what we may be missing nowadays. I have often said on here how important it is to me that my daughter not only has time with us once a week as a family where we go out and explore, as well as spending time with other children. We took her today to pop in to say hello to her cousins who were having a game of ten pin bowling, and the delight on her face to see them was lovely! She laughed, smiled and took one of them by the hand to see what fun they were getting up to.

Of course, I do think it is important also that she learns how to play alone. As a busy Mum, I don't always have the time to play with her constantly when there is housework to do!! But it is making her realise that when we have time together it is special and that we do have time to spend with her. I believe that allowing her to grow up with the sense of belonging and friendship will allow her to prefer spending time with family and friends than sitting in front of a computer screen.

What do you think?

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