Maria Kalpidou, Assumption University – Simple Secrets to Happier, More Successful Children

On Assumption University Week: How do we give our children the best chance to be successful?

Maria Kalpidou, associate professor of psychology, answers this question.

Maria Kalpidou is a psychology professor at Assumption University in Massachusetts with 25 years of teaching experience in child development, a parent of three, and an advocate of equal opportunities for all children to discover and develop their full potential.

Simple Secrets to Happier, More Successful Children

Most parents want their children to become successful, independent adults with a career they love. And no parents want their children to beanxious or depressed. So, how can parents help children to be happy and successful? 

Let’s start with understanding what happiness and success mean for a child. Happiness isn’t just about fleeting moments of joy; it’s about experiencing fulfillment, and more positive emotions, like hope, than negative feelings, like anxiety or sadness. For children, success is closely tied to achieving personal goals, which contributes to their overall sense of well-being and happiness.

Science tell us that happy children have supportive relationships, they feel loved, hopeful, and grateful. They handle their emotions and behaviors. They are active, sleep well and find joy in spirituality and deep focus. Successful children are good at controlling their thoughts and actions. They have confidence in their abilities, believe in effort, and pursue long-term goals.

All of these can be nurtured by parents in the context of a loving and trusting relationship. While being careful not to be overprotective, parents can help by being both compassionate and setting appropriate expectations. This approach teaches self-regulation, a key to success and happiness. For example, children who are independent and self-reliant report greater happiness and have better grades and positive attitudes towards school. Parents can also boost their children’s strengths and work on weaknesses. For example, an empathetic child would be happier when helping or leading others. An impulsive child would flourish when given goals and structure. Additionally, parents can model and teach traits like persistence and forgiveness, which serve children throughout life.

Achieving happiness and success is a learned and lifelong process. But parents can help children develop the foundations for happiness and success by nurturing a loving relationship and encouraging independence and character qualities.

Read More:
[Amazon] – The Development of Children’s Happiness and Success