What Children Need to be Happy, Confident and Successful is being identified by the research evidence emerging from Positive Psychology. This research focuses on giving children the tools they need to manage their lives successfully.

I believe that when you prepare children for adult life you need to build up the inner child's strengths, skills and resilience. More like lighting a fire rather than filling a bucket.

Each child is unique and special from day one and strives to find what works for them and what excites their passions. We want motivation and energy to come from within and no two people are the same. When you tune into the child you can take what you see and hear as your guide to how you can bring out their potential.

As the world becomes a busier and more complicated place we want our children to be safe but we also want them to be confident and able to live life to the full. Children see so many possibilities that they can become bewildered and unsure of what is expected of them.

A recent report from the Children’s Society identified that more than 1 in 10 children are unhappy with their lives. Increasing numbers of children with anxiety and depression are being referred to specialist services. The evidence is that families and professionals in daily contact with children can nurture wellbeing to give children resilience and strong self belief.

The key to a child’s wellbeing is their confidence that they have the skills they need for what is expected of them right now. This is not just the skills they learn but also how adults ensure that expectations are fair, realistic and age appropriate. There is increasing evidence that we are expecting too much too soon which creates unnecessary stress and disappointment. So how can we adjust our expectations without studying endless textbooks about child development?

A good place to start is by looking and listening to your child to see what they are interested in and ready for. Their energy, enthusiasm and excitement are a guide to whether we are lighting that inner fire or treating them like an empty vessel to fill up as we please.

Every child is unique and each child has their own strengths and potential. Make a mental note of everything you know about them? Who are they and what fires their enthusiasm. Nurturing wellbeing is about enabling the child to find themselves and feel enthused and confident about the opportunities life has to offer.

Children who know they are accepted for themselves grow in confidence and in their willingness to experiment and try new things. Acceptance cancels out anxiety about performance and fear of the unknown.

Positive Psychology evidence offers a strong framework you can rely on to guide you and help you identify what is working well and what needs support. The 5 core areas of wellbeing are:

1. Personal strengths,

2. Emotional wellbeing,

3. Positive communication,

4. Learning strengths

5. Resilience.

A good childhood comes from supporting children to develop the skills they need in these 5 areas to manage their own lives successfully.

An important early skill young children need to is managing their emotions otherwise they become easily unsettled, insecure and find it hard to focus outside themselves.

Positive communication skills helps a child develop trust and rapport so that the child feels safe and secure in social situations.

Author's Bio: 

Jeni Hooper is a Child and Educational Psychologist specialising in helping children to find their best selves and to flourish. Her book What Children need to be Happy, Confident and Successful: Step by Step Positive Psychology to Help Children Flourish is published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers and can be viewed here http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Children-Happy-Confident-Successful/dp/1849...

Jeni can be contacted at info@jenihooper.com or visit my website www.jenihooper.com