Well-intentioned parents often try to foster happiness by giving their kids pleasurable experiences. Yet what children really need is to learn how to create and sustain joy on their own, says Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., a noted child and adult psychiatrist and coauthor of the bestselling Driven to Distraction. In his new book, The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, Dr. Hallowell, an instructor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, outlines five things kids need most to build a lifetime of self-esteem and confidence. They are:
Fortunately, one step leads naturally to the next and the cycle is self-perpetuated, explains Dr. Hallowell. You can lay the groundwork at an early age. Give your child these five key qualities, he says, and you will greatly increase her chances of leading a joyful, meaningful life.