Happiness as the pot of gold at the end of childhood
Dr. Hallowell is a super writer and has much insight into childhood and childhood happiness. It’s about positive parenting and our overall approach to parenting. Dr. Hallowell tells some marvelous stories and shares research about childhood and how to have a happy childhood, the roots of happiness. Dr. Ned Hallowell has written a number of books on ADD and ADHD. This book isn’t about ADD or ADHD. It is a good parenting book. Good parenting books are hard to find. I like his tone, his ideas and his approach.” When I ask parents to list the highest aspirations for their children, many often say “happiness” and “to be happy.”
We must turn to a leprechaun to find this elusive and pot of gold — Dr. Edward Hallowell. His book, “The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness” contains stories, research on happiness, and insight from raising three children and advising families for several decades.
Here are the five childhood roots of adult happiness: connection, play, practice, mastery, and recognition. Notice the absence of the words discipline, consequences, praise, reward and punishment. Dr. Hallowell gives many wonderful examples of the importance of connection and how to get more of it without instilling fear and punishment.
Hallowell’s research on happiness adds credibility to the book. Even though happiness is subjective, many researchers have studied this enigmatic state. The fundamental fact that he uncovered is this: a strong parent-child connection is the foundation to happiness.
Hallowell’s book and my parenting approach nestle together like two spoons. What I call mutual respect and encouragement is called by Hallowell creating “confident can-do kids” by allowing them to try, to fail and to recognized efforts. This foundation for a positive parent-child connection also nurtures resilient children.
Kids who are allowed to fail and who are encouraged to practice more will find more happiness because they can bounce back from setbacks. Kids can take risks when they are confident they can fall back the mattress of unconditional love because they are not beholden to please parents or make them proud.
Dr. Hallowell gives many examples of how to nurture the parent-child connection. Here are a few key ideas we share:
- to do family chores — without pay, with an allowance that’s not connected to chores;
- to foster free play time — which could lead to the next possibility;
- to allow boredom and to encourage the child to figure out what to do next;
- to recognize effort and accomplishment without praise;
- to share family meals, rituals and traditions;
- to read together as long as possible; and
- to nurture the belief that “you can do it.”
This book will make you feel good about how you connect to your children now and how to improve it. I loved reading it because of Dr. Hallowell’s informal writing style. It feels like he is talking to you and sharing what he has learned — from a not-so-perfect childhood and not-so-perfect parenting, that we can all relate to.
BTW — Come to a one-night positive parenting workshop tonight, Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 in Acton, Mass. Act don’t Yak. Walk-ins welcome. 7-9 pm at the R.J. Gray Junior High on Charter Road, off Route 111 in Acton. Hope to see you there.Explore posts in the same categories: Dr. Edward Hallowell, empowerment, Encouragement comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.