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To raise happy kids, parents need to look inward first

 

Narrator:            This is Science Today. Happy children are more likely to live healthier, more productive lives and have better coping skills in times of stress. So, what can parents do to raise happy children? Sociologist Christine Carter of the University of California, Berkeley, says the first step for parents is to start with themselves.

Carter:            We need to put out own oxygen masks first and the reason is, if we should become faint from lack of oxygen, we will be of no use to anyone else. So, I think today, we put so much focus on our children and our children's happiness that the first thing that you need to do — you want to raise happy children, you want to go first, yourself!

Narrator:            Carter explains that children learn behavior through modeling.

Carter:            And so, if you're modeling anxious behavior or you're modeling happy behavior, kids are going to pick up on that. So, if you're doing what it takes for you to lead a meaningful and happy and fulfilled life, kids are going to learn that that's how you lead your life and they're going to grow into happy adults.

Narrator:            For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.