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THE CHILDHOOD ROOTS OF ADULT HAPPINESS

THE CHILDHOOD ROOTS OF ADULT HAPPINESS:

 Five Steps to Help Create and Sustain Lifelong Joy

In this presentation, Dr. Hallowell, father of three and a clinical psychiatrist, outlines a five-step plan for promoting successful learning and lifelong joy that parents, teachers and all others who care about children can use to give children the gift of happiness that will last a lifetime: Connect, Play, Practice, Mastery and Recognition. As fundamental as these five concepts are, they hold the key to raising children with healthy self-esteem, moral awareness and spiritual values. Based on current research, as well as his own experiences as a parent, teacher, and child psychiatrist, Dr. Hallowell will discuss how one step leads to the next and how the cycle is self-perpetuated.  He will explain how these five key qualities can greatly increase a child’s chances of leading a joyful and meaningful life.  Relevant to anyone interested in happiness or children, this talk points out what really matters in childhood, and what doesn’t, while offering practical pointers on how to make the most of the most precious years of life. 

 Connect   Feeling rooted gives children a foundation of security.  Children need unconditional love from one or both parents and benefit when they have close ties to their extended family, feel part of their school, and help care for pets.

 Play   Make sure your child’s / student’s free time isn’t too programmed and regimented.  Open-ended play, in which children can invent scenarios and solve problems by themselves, helps them discover their talents and use their own resources.

 Practice   When kids find out what they’re good at, they’ll want to do it again and again.  But sometimes you may have to do some gentle nudging to ensure that your child /student sticks to an activity and experiences a sense of accomplishment. 

 Mastery   From practice comes mastery.  When children achieve a skill  – whether it’s learning to tie their shoes, play the piano, draw a flower, complete a math problem, or build a birdhouse  – they’re further motivated to tackle new challenges.  And that leads to a can-do attitude.

 Recognition   Approval and support from one’s parents, teachers, and peers for a job well done reconnect children to the wider world.  When kids think what they do affects their family, classmates, and team, they’re more likely to exhibit moral behavior and, ultimately, to feel good about themselves.

 Fortunately, one step leads naturally to the next

 Note:  Other topics on this basic theme can also be created.

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