I just read an astonishing article. It gives us one of the keys to happiness. And we all want our kids to be happy! What makes people happy? What leads people to say they are satisfied with their lives? Is it money? - NO! It's time. Having time leads to happiness.

We all have heard that more money doesn't make us happy. It helps at low incomes but once we get into the middle class, more money doesn't make you much happier. As the Beatles sang many years ago, money can't buy you love. And money can't buy you happiness either. Even Henry Ford said that he was happier when doing a mechanic's job. All his money didn't buy him much happiness.

So what does make people happy if it is not money affluence, as the researchers called it? What makes people happy is time affluence. People who have time to spare are happy. People who control their time are happy. People who don't feel rushed and who don't feel that their lives are hectic are happy. This is what we have to teach our kids.

This probably isn't news to most people. We already knew that rich people aren't that much happier than middle class people. Obviously if you cannot buy your essential needs like food, clothing or a place to live you will be unhappy. But once you have filled your basic needs, you are just as likely to be happy as Donald Trump or Bill Gates. And once you have enough money to be happy, have time has an even bigger influence on your happiness.

We all want our kids to be happy, so the first thing we have to do is make sure they get enough of an education to make a decent living. That is pretty basic and most of us can check that off our list. But all that does is make them “eligible” for the happiness ticket of life. It does very little to assure it. How do we make sure our kids are happy?

We have to teach our kids to appreciate their time and to use time wisely. How might we do that? We can start by appreciating our own time. When was the last time that you declared that you are happy that you can spend time doing what you want. When you are on vacation do you say – so that your kids will hear- “I am so happy that I can take time to be with my family!”? What about at dinner? Sunday morning? If your kids hear that you appreciate your time, they will appreciate their time also.

What about feeling hectic and rushed? The best way to avoid this is to have smooth transitions between activities. Do you have smooth transitions? Do you finish your breakfast, then calmly kiss your kids, then whistle as you are leaving the house every morning? Or do you throw your breakfast dishes in the sink, scream because you cannot find your car keys and trip on the dog because you are late for work? It is so very important to keep transitions smooth. That is why many kindergarten teachers will be singing while the kids are cleaning up form one activity and on the way to another. To make for smooth, calm transitions. This is so very important to teach your kids.

Part of the reason that people who have more time are happy is because they are more “present and in the moment”, something the researchers called mindfulness. Mindfulness is how much you pay attention to life. For example, how often do you drive somewhere and have no recollection of how you got there? How often do eat something and you aren't even aware that you are eating? How often are you careless and not paying attention?

So this gives us yet another way to find happiness and to help our kids to be happy. Teach them to manage their time well and help them to not be hectic. And we also have to teach our kids to be “mindful”, to be present in the moment. And that will be the topic of another article!

Author's Bio: 

Shaya Kass, PhD is a parenting coach. He helps parents create realtionships with their kids that give a lifetime of smiles. Sincere, deep, loving relationships. He offers tips and techniques for growing happy, inspired kids and parents at http://www.PositiveParentPlus.com. Visit now for a free report on The 7 Key Steps to Being A Positive Parent.

Shaya can be reached at DrShaya@PositiveParentPlus.com