Summer is a fun time for most children, but these past few years have been tough.

The good news is you’re not alone, and learning how to help them become stronger, more resilient, and ultimately, happier is important for you and them.

Maureen Healy, an award-winning author and leader in Children’s Emotional Health, joins Gayle Guyardo to share 5 tips to have happier experiences with your kiddos this summer.

Healy told Guyardo, “Happiness can be learned with new habits, and this is especially important to teach children.”

Here are her 5 tips help children create habits that contribute to a happier mindset for life:

1. Happier is Bouncing Back from Challenges. Becoming happier simply means better than before- making an improvement in mood and feeling more positive- and science shows us that reframing challenges helps us become happier.

2. Help Someone Else. Science shows us that children who help others feel happier. Helping mom garden, dad cook, baking cookies for grandma, walking the neighbor’s dog, raising money for a cause, or cleaning up the beach are all examples of “micro-moments” that plant seeds of happier life experiences.

3. Gratitude/Appreciation. Expressing gratitude boosts happiness.  Begin a gratitude journal, or start a nightly practice of remembering “Three Good Things” from the day.  Appreciation is gratitude in action. (Heartfelt “thank you” letters, handmade gifts, and thoughtful favors)

4. Make Memories. Fill your happiness buckets: Go to your local zoo, picnic, plant a garden, or go to the beach… Science shows that taking photos, placing them around your house, and savoring your “happy experiences” will help you feel happier all summer long.

5. Learn Something New. Children thrive when they’re learning, exploring, and having adventures.  The ability to challenge ourselves and learn something new has been scientifically proven to help us become happier.  Bonus tip: Make your child the teacher and you the student.  Now, that’s sure to be fun! 

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