40% of child happiness depends on parents

The happiness, assure numerous scientific studies, is determined in a 50 percent by the genetics, in a 10 percent by the external circumstances or the context and in a 40 percent it depends on us, of intentional and emotional activities that take us to be happy.

The psychologists Alejandra Vallejo-Nágera and Silvia Álava, two of the most renowned experts in child psychology, British Council School has gathered in the II Conference on Education for Child Welfare, recognize that "parents can increase up to 40 percent the happiness of children, without giving them precisely everything they ask".


The secret of children's happiness

Both experts agree that "the secret lies in educating children in values, providing them with the emotional tools and the necessary educational guidelines that allow them to develop, explore, overcome their mistakes, be autonomous, safe, capable and, ultimately , happier".

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1. Educate in values. The psychologist Alejandra Vallejo-Nágera explains that "values ​​are the basic principles of the education of children: loyalty, flexibility, motivation, empathy, effort, ability to recover after failure, etc. And, the main references to transmit those values ​​are precisely the parents. "


For her part, the psychologist Silvia Álava insists that "values ​​are taught by example, we teach parents with our behavior because values ​​are the motor of our behavior." Among the most important values ​​that can be taught to children stand out humility (nobody is more than anyone), commitment, gratitude, friendship, patience (things do not always come out the first time) or responsibility (assuming the consequences) ".

The relationship between parents and the school is also essential when teaching values ​​to children and both psychologists agree on the importance of the role of teachers. "Although parents are responsible for instilling values, if it is also done from school, it will be easier for children," says Silvia Álava. In this sense, the director of the British Council School, Gillian Flaxman, affirms that "from the school we want to promote initiatives like this Conference to facilitate the support between the school and the home, because we both share the responsibility that the leaders of tomorrow are people The children are in our classrooms for 15 years, from 3 to 18 and when they leave, they do so with many of the values ​​we have instilled in them through a broad program of activities. "


2. Establish norms and limits. The benefits of setting rules and limits for children at home are multiple. Among them highlights that give children feelings of security and protection, thanks to them children are creating their own references, acquiring patterns of what is valid and what not to conform their own scale of values. They also help to achieve an organized coexistence and to promote respect towards others and towards oneself.

The psychologist Silvia Álava considers that the existence of norms and limits is another of the important educational guidelines to increase the happiness of the little ones and adds that "the norms do not annul the personality of the children and serve to develop their self-control. it forces us to be congruent and to establish consequences both in positive, through the prize, and in negative, when it is not done ".

3. Avoid overprotection. Studies carried out by different specialists show that children who are protected and cared for in excess do not adequately develop their capacities or assume their corresponding responsibilities due to the constant presence of their parents. Alejandra Vallejo-Nágera speaks of overprotection as one of the most common mistakes of parents and ensures that "children need to solve as many problems as possible, and as soon as possible." In the same line, Silvia Álava warns that "when we overprotect, children develop less emotional competences because their path is so easy that children do not have to make any effort, thus making them more insecure because they will always need an adult and in the long run they will feel more unhappy. "

Marisol New

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