Start today with your kids
I'm always drawn to those blogs and posts which say 'The Top 10 Secrets of Successful Relationships' or the '5 Key Things All Successful People Do', mostly to see if there's something new that I might have missed! Although I've realised that I never feel that uplifted or inspired by reading them.
Then I had the pleasure of meeting Emma O'Connor, the author of Everyday Happy: A Journal for Happiness, at an event we were both speaking at. And maybe I should have called this blog 'One Thing Everyone Should Start Doing With Their Kids'.
Emma has written a book which has started a whole new routine with my two boys, which I didn't foresee happening. Each page of the journal is a list of things kids can ask themselves about their day including - 'What am I grateful for today?', 'Who was I kind to today', 'What was the most fun thing about today' and an opportunity to rate their happiness on a scale of one to ten. Kids love to rate stuff! It's fascinating and surprising to think back over the day and rate it in this way and hear our kids do it too.
We are a week in to our journal, and towards the end of each day, unprompted, my oldest who is eight asks me if we can sit down together and do the Happiness Journal. And of course his younger brother follows!
This is where it starts. Habits form at a very young age, and can be learnt at any age. Happiness is a habit. Gratitude is a habit.
Young children thinking about gratitude, happiness, what fun is, what it means to be hugged and to show kindness to others, to take photos of beautiful things or to spend time on a hobby. This has been hugely powerful for me, to see how my kids view kindness and happiness, the things that make them tick, and to listen without judgement.
There is even a question around have you sat in a quiet space today, entry-level meditation! We then sit with our eyes closed and take 3 or 4 deep breathes! It always end in giggles or my sons pretending they are yoga masters omming! Which is brilliant!
So yes I want to plug this book because I believe it will be a game changer for many families, and for many young people who feel anxious or unhappy, and frankly can be used by anyone from 5 years up. I am enjoying this as much as my boys are. And while you wait for it to be delivered in the post, ask yourself some of the questions above....How would you score today on a scale of 1 to 10?
Buy your copy at Amazon - Everyday Happy