So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

We all want our kids to be happy.

How often do we hear or say this phrase, “I just want my child to be happy”?

God enjoys joy. He cares about our happiness, our cheerfulness.

He created us with the ability to feel good. To feel happy. The joy of the Lord is our strength!

God is a joy-giver. 

It is a natural human desire to seek happiness. Our Heavenly Father programmed joy into us.

And now, neuroscientists confirm that our brains positively respond to things that make us happy.

Alex Korb, UCLA neuroscience researcher, has given us 4 ways to tap into and increase our happy meter.

I’ve taken Dr. Korb’s 4 ideas and applied them to parenting.

Here are the 4 Secrets to Raising a Happy Kid:

1. Train your child to ask, “What am I grateful for?” 

Focus on thankfulness and gratitude to increase the happiness factor. Recently, at a MOPS group where I was speaking,  one mom prayed, “Lord, thank you that the dog threw up on the hardwood floor and not the carpet this morning.” 

As she prayed, she laughed. And so did the rest of us. A thankful heart is contagious. When a person expresses appreciation, often those around him catch the joy wave.

Scientifically speaking, we laughed because her gratefulness boosted our brains’ neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin.

 So help your kiddo’s get happy by having and encouraging a grateful and thankful outlook.

2. Have your child name his feelings.

In those times your child is really down in the dumps, have him label his emotions.

As parents, we can help our kids out with the labeling. “You appear frustrated.” “You must be feeling really sad right now.” The really little ones can begin by naming their emotions three ways: glad, sad, mad.

By identifying how one feels rather than ignoring or suppressing the pain, the brain is more able to deal with the issue.

3. Encourage your child to make a decision.

Rather than fuss over a decision until it’s perfect or procrastinate making a choice, be decisive. Putting off a decision increases worry and anxiety. Our brain feels at rest and relaxed once decisions are made.

Train your child how to set goals, find solutions, and solve problems. Have him create a list and check off things that have been completed.

These activities actually calm the limbic system and increase pleasure.

4. Show, give, and receive affection.

Touch increases our happiness and lessens our physical pain. Intuitively we know this. That is why  we hold a loved one’s hand when he is getting a shot or in some type of pain.

Research shows that 5 hugs a day for 4 weeks significantly increase happiness. Scientifically speaking, big bear hugs are much better than than the quick, stiff, obligatory hug.

Our brain chemically responds to these four things; serotonin and dopamine increase (the happy chemicals) and cortisol (the stress hormone ) decreases.

So if we want happy kids let’s train them to be grateful, identify their emotions, make good decisions, and give and receive hugs.

Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. 

Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.

James 5:13

Come on get happy!

If you would like more information on happiness go to:

http://time.com/4042834/neuroscience-happy-rituals/ 

or

Dr. Alex Korb author of The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression One Small Change at a Time  

headshot 2015by,

Lori Wildenberg
Co-author of 3 parenting books, licensed family-parent educator, mother of 4, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting

logo without border

 If you would like Lori to speak at your next event connect with her over at http://www.loriwildenberg.com

If you liked this article you may want to checkout Raising Little Kids with Big Love or Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love over at Amazon.

Lori Wildenberg

Lori  Wildenberg, is passionate about helping families build connections that last a lifetime. She meets parents where they are with her warmth, transparency, humor, and straight-forward, faith-filled approach. Lori is an author, licensed parent-family educator, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting ministry, lead mentor mom with the Moms Together Facebook Community, national speaker, and parent coach. Her 5th parenting book Messy Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections (New Hope Publishers) will be released in August 2018 and is available for preorder over at Amazon. The Wildenberg home is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A perfect day in Lori’s world is a hike with her Tom (her hubby), five kids (four plus a daughter-in-love), and Murphy– the family labradoodle! For more information or to connect with Lori go to www.loriwildenberg.com 

Lent For Kids: 40 Ways To Spend 40 Days

In: Featured, Kids
Cross with bird

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season leading to Easter. Our 3-year-old has been talking about the Easter bunny since January, when he finally understood that Christmas was over. While I’m happy he’s excited for the upcoming holiday, I really want to find some good, concrete ways to help him learn that this time of year is not only about bunnies and candy in eggs. So, I’ve decided to come up with 40 ways to spend the 40 days of Lent with kids. Some of these will work better with older children, while others are great for...

Keep Reading

Chocolate Pot de Crème

In: Featured, Kitchen

Chocolate and romance go hand in hand and with Valentine’s Day around the bend, why not have a beautifully simple and romantic dessert on the menu? With Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday, it might be a little more difficult to get those reservations to go out to eat to celebrate. If you end up staying home, why not have an easy, romantic dessert to finish your meal? Made in a blender or food processor and refrigerated, this recipe is easy to make and the result can be a beautiful and elegant dessert that will put the perfect cap on...

Keep Reading

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel Gnagy @ Inscribed Photography & Design (recipe originally from here) One of my favorite ‘girly’ meals to make is soup served in bread bowls. I love getting the Broccoli Cheese soup at Quizno’s (it’s healthy because it has broccoli, right?) and Panera’s Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice soup. YUM. So when I saw a recipe on Pinterest for creamy chicken and rice soup, I thought I would give it a try! You will need: 1 Tablespoon of olive oil 2-3 carrots, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 5 cups of chicken stock 1 cup of cooked chicken,...

Keep Reading

Chicken Cordon Bleu for Two

In: Featured, Kitchen

Written By:  Rachel @ Inscribed Photography (Recipe originally from here) Valentine’s Day is coming up and with that in mind I wanted to bring you an easy, delicious meal for you and your special man. This recipe is by far the easiest Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe and it is super yummy too! Pair it with some steamed veggies on the side and something chocolatey for dessert and you’re all set for a romantic dinner for two. For the chicken, you will need: 2 chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise 8 slices of deli ham 8 slices of Swiss cheese 1...

Keep Reading

Easy Weeknight Beef Stroganoff

In: Featured, Kitchen

We all have those heirloom recipes we grew up with, but when you get married you inherit a whole new set of recipes your spouse grew up with, too. This stroganoff recipe is one that my husband grew up eating and then cooked frequently for himself before I took over in the kitchen. (ha.) He made it for me once while we were dating, and I will admit – I was super skeptical. Generally, these sorts of humble dishes aren’t my cup of tea – the ones made with cream-of canned soups and noodles. However, I tried it and was...

Keep Reading

Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl

In: Faith, Featured, Journal, Kids
Hanging Onto Hope: The Dream That Saved My Baby Girl www.herviewfromhome.com

Family and friends often assure pregnant women that their “maternal instincts” can be relied on to guide them into motherhood. This previously undiscovered gift will reveal itself the first time she holds her child. As a mother of four I believe in this instinct, but also recognize that experience and wisdom help. The birth of our fifth child, Kinsley, has introduced me to another source of guidance and strength that I never anticipated. Kinsley was born the day after Christmas. She was pink, beautiful and certified by the medical staff as being in perfect health. She was welcomed with unconditional...

Keep Reading

Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged

In: Featured
Bow Your Head and Vote, Yes the Outcome is Rigged www.herviewfromhome.com

“Keep in mind this is God’s plan! And who am I to dare question God’s plan!” I say it over and over as I watch this mess unfold before me. This mess, America is calling an election. I have never been impressed with the two-party system. It allows too much power to a select few and limits our freedoms. So, as I watch and listen and pray, as Trump and Clinton march to the White House, I only hope more Americans now see the disaster that is the two-party system. Two people that should be sitting in jail are now...

Keep Reading

This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Mental Health, Motherhood
This Kick-Ass Cancer Survivor Shares 20 Easy Ways To Make Your Life Healthier Today www.herviewfromhome.com

I recently went through quite an experience with my health. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2015. Following my diagnosis, I underwent a treatment regimen of chemotherapy, double mastectomy, and then, 28 rounds of radiation.  Before my diagnosis, I felt the healthiest I have probably, in my whole life. I was exercising regularly. Eating, conscious of my health. And after birthing three kids in 6 years, finding ways to focus on myself once again. And then — WHAM — cancer.  Excuuuuuuuuse me?!?! Cancer?!? I was, for all intents and purposes, a 33-year-old with great habits and a great...

Keep Reading

The Great Melt Down

In: Faith, Featured, Kids, Kitchen
The Great Melt Down www.herviewfromhome.com

When my brother Bobby and I were little kids, one of the great treats of summer was a journey to a neighboring town where my dad would buy each of us a hand-dipped ice cream cone. During the drive home, my mom would turn around from the front seat and point out drips that we back-seat-riders needed to lick up quick. I, the ever-eager pleaser, would anxiously eat my ice cream as quickly as possible, barely taking a breath between licks. Bobby, on the other hand, came up with the more reasonable response. He would grin at Mom and bite...

Keep Reading

The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy

In: Featured, Health, Healthy Living, Kids, Relationships
The Best (and free) Drug Prevention Strategy www.herviewfromhome.com

A secret Facebook group has been uncovered by police that connects kids as young as 12 years-old to places where they can buy drugs. (see the link to the story at the end of this blog)  Shocking? Yes. Surprising? No. Kids find a way, don’t they? So what can we do? There are apps we can buy. There are rules we can make. There are punishments we can deliver.  Yet the best prevention of all is our relationship with our young people.  Time together, conversation, and honest sharing of our lives is the most effective way to influence our kids–even...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.