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Babies love chocolates and mostly hate dark chocolates. They love to touch smooth surfaces and soft things rather than rough ones. They like happy and beautiful faces more than plain faces. They like to listen to rhymes instead of dissonant melodies. They prefer soothing fairy tales to rough and tough stories. It seems to me that they are born with a lot of instinctive pleasures, softness and happiness. As babies grow, sometimes they turn into bullies and in most of the cases they lose their intrinsic capability of being happy for no reasons. Very few of the kids are able to carry their innate sense of happiness with them, as they grow. What could be the possible factors for this? How and why does the happiness quotient of a baby changes in due course of time?
How and why does the happiness quotient of a baby changes?
In first few years, a child interacts with the world in his/her unique way and later on, he/she learns from his/her interactions and his/her surroundings and reciprocates. So, it is induced behaviour and attitude towards everything and happiness is no exception to this. I am a mother of 5 year young girl. Everything I learn is from her, at least in the field of parenting. I have noticed very peculiar thing about her interactions. Like every child she has so many nick names: a nick name that her paternal clan has given her, and another she got from her maternal clan, and yet another from her loving cousins (age 7years and 10 years). We, all parents, are aware that kids speak in third person when they want to say something about themselves. Like my daughter says ‘Chia ko yeh pasand nahi hai’ instead of ‘mujhe yeh pasand nahi hai.’ Initially she used to take the name ‘Chia’ because we call her by this name at home. Slowly, she started addressing herself according to the clan she was communicating to. If she is talking to her nani then she will use a different name and if talking to her dadi then another name. This is a great example of how kids learn and internalise things. This made me conscious if she is also learning about happiness from all of us! If she has a barometer to measure how happy we are, when we are happy and what makes us happy? If she is modulating her happiness quotient accordingly? These are more elaborate and precise questions to dig down deep the ‘how and why’ happiness quotient of a baby changes.
What could be the possible factors?
I, surely, cannot obstruct the external impact. For instance, I am worried about the impact of her teacher, Ms Tiger, on her psychology. Ms Tiger is a strict person and she frequently punishes and yells at students. My kid is learning that yelling is a part of feeling righteous and propagating the same to the world. Whenever, she feels she is in right position, her pitch changes. She transforms from a calm, happy girl into an angry girl. She is not happy to be right and the emotion accompanying righteous is anger. Then there are bully kids around. There are lot many people walking with long faces and taking privilege of pity business. I cannot control any of these interactions. But in a family we should do something to counter balance this learning. What could be possibly done? Is my family on my kid’s side or on the other side of table?
What could be possibly done?
We need to be a happy family to have a happy kid. It is really difficult task to be happy when we have to navigate through different roles with different expectations and aspirations. And parenthood is the most struggling of all the roles as it has no norms, no scripts, no curriculum, no manuals and no rules. The different parenting style very often causes conflicts between two parents in one home. Conflicts are nasty and affect our happiness. Few families have been successful to resolve conflicts by replacing judgmental approach with mutual respect for different parenting styles. The kids of these families say ‘I have happy parents and they don’t fight.’ The kids of such families are happier than most other kids. There are families who are very strict and don’t much believe in pampering a kid. They are more towards preparing the kid to face harsh realities of the world. They are the parents who see world as a war place or competition ground. For sure, such parents are not happy ones and they display a completely different trajectory of happiness to their kids. Mostly their kids adopt that style of being happy. Few families have financial issues that drains most of their happiness and creativity. Few families have differently abled kids and to parent such kids is even more struggling for their parents. There are lot many reasons to be unhappy and there are reasons to be happy. Happy that you are human, alive, sane and blessed with babies. We might not make our kid happiest, but we can safeguard his/her innate happiness quotient. This is one of the major responsibilities nature has handed to us.
This takes me to my cultural roots of touching the feet of our elderly people and 99% of the time we receive the wish ‘Khush raho beta’. So, Happiness is the profound goal of any life. A beggar without much money deserves to be happy. All differently abled kids have the capability of being happy. A prostitute, a liar, a murderer, a common man, a celebrity, a leader each has a choice to be happy or unhappy. Rather they made this choice in their childhood ‘how to conduct their emotional hygiene and emotional health and how to be happy no matter what’. They learned it all from us, from their families. Let’s be a happy family and let’s make this choice. This is of utter importance to our kids.
Read more on emotional hygiene and emotional health here :i-love-you-you-drive-me-crazy-and-you-keep-me-sane
Photo Source: inspiredcounselling.com
#emotional hygiene, #emotional health, #happiness