“All I wish is that joy were a fruit that grew on the get-at-able branches of some perennial, evergreen tree so that I could pluck as many as I could till my hands were choked with fruits and my life…with joy”¦”
All of us would have to agree that someday or another, we all have had thoughts like this – ‘anxiously’ wanting joy. But in this quest to catch the butterflies of joy, we tread on the punched dry leaves of anxiety. If adults can’t deal with the ‘stress’ of finding joy, can kids deal with it? Obviously not.
So, how can adults, especially parents, help kids cultivate joy within their little selves?
1. Teaching “THANK YOU!”
How much does it cost to show your gratitude for someone else’s generous and kind acts for you? Is it so expensive to return someone’s investment of their time and efforts in your work with just two simple words? It isn’t, right? So, in order to make your child’s life more beautiful, inculcate the habit of thanking people for even the slightest efforts within them.
2. “Can I help you?”
Why not return a compassionate favor with another compassionate favor? Sometimes the best way to say ‘thank you’ is to exhibit the same kind of generosity and compassion others have shown you. It may not be directed towards the same person, but it can be any person whose eyes would be delighted to see your helping hand coming forward. Teach your child to be like a tree; giving shade and fruits to every tired and hungry passer-by without any terms and conditions.
3. “I know myself and I care for myself” attitude
But in the process of helping others, let’s not forget to teach our child the virtue of ‘self-introspection’ and ‘self-compassion’. Any parent would want their child to be a kind and exemplary human being. But how can you be composed and rational when you have failed to understand your own self, address your own deep-seeded issues, and recognise your own emotions? That’s why every parent must strive to make their child strike a chord with their own innermost emotions and thus, fight the inner battles before proceeding to deal with the outside world.
4. Getting those puzzled thoughts in order
Children often have negative thoughts whirling inside their little brains, which can eventually lead to bigger anxiety issues. Hence, teachers and parents must create a conducive medium for kids to express themselves clearly and coherently. Encourage them to speak their mind or to draw what troubles them or, write all their worries in a letter to God, fairy, Santa Claus or any other mythical or cartoon or superhero character that would make them feel relieved. Once the inner negativity is out, more logical thoughts can call your child’s head their abode and thus, make your child think, act, and perform more intelligently in life.
Most importantly, make your child understand that ‘joy CANNOT be acquired; it has to be attained‘.