When people start the Happiness Makeover, a lot of times they take a leap of faith. They have already realized nothing else has worked and now, all their chips are on this one leadership program that has a great chance of working.
One east coast husband and wife, came to a place where they knew they had to become happier for the sake of themselves and their marriage. They never thought their happiness would actually impact their children.
Here is one mother’s account of how this work has influenced her two young boys ages 5 and 8.
I started the Happiness program five weeks ago for myself; however I immediately saw a difference in my two sons, Coen (age 8) & Grayson (age 5).
- They love the program – they find confidence in predictability and that confidence leads to happier moments.
- They enjoy surprises & each time I would add on a new element of the morning routine they would grow excited & loved the challenge of remembering it.
- They react SO WELL to positive parenting & as a family we have grown closer, quickly.
Confidence in their communication style has increased immensely.
Grayson (5) has changed his entire style of communication with an increased level of emotional outpour, with positivity.
He enjoys doing the “Happiness program” with me most notable the morning routine. He requests doing the morning routine with me when he gets up.
From a physically emotional standpoint, Grayson has started hugging me a lot more often. I find him more often trying to be closer in proximity to where I am, & often glances at me with a huge smile & acknowledges he’s doing his 'smile practice.'
The most impactful action he has done in this time period has been a complete halting of bed-wetting. He would consistently wet the bed at least two times a week and ever since I started this program he has not wet the bed even once. To me this exemplifies a few things. One he's going to bed content with a happy heart. Two, he's able to communicate with confidence if he is in bed and has to get up, as opposed to how he used to handle this; which was to stay in bed & either consciously or subconsciously ignore his need. Lastly, he is quietly content while sleeping without disruption.
After I pick Grayson up from school we talk about the day very differently than we used to. Cutting out words of negativity has increased his ability to talk openly about what his experience was within his day. In the past my exhaustion from the day kept me quiet or irritable; I was quick to worry about the next task (dinner, homework, etc) instead of being in the moment with him. Having the ten minutes of alone time with my five year old is precious and now that I realize how important it is to be in the moment, he has reaped the benefits.
At five he is strictly tied to his emotions. Pouring on the positivity has opened up a world within him and has drastically changed him, quickly. Instead of lashing out with silence or tantrums he has used words and actual examples to talk about how he feels. For me this illustrates his comfort level and confidence with regards to communicating.
His smiles have increased, his affection has increased, and he has been the most drastically impacted by my change. He embraces the positive routines he looks forward to doing them and that shows me that he welcomes the opportunity to embrace happiness in his life anywhere he can get it and however he can get it.
Coen (age 8)
My eight-year-old has also showed big improvement however his improvements are more minimal then the five-year-old.
He also embraces the happiness program however it is with less frequency than the five-year-old.
Most notably with him I’ve seen an increase with physical affection. He seeks me out in the house no matter where I am, to ensure he can give me a hug prior to him leaving.
He's also much less reactionary with outbursts when something is not going his way.
An interesting take away is our car rides. Typically that is a time that both boys can escape, and historically they request their tablets and or the television to avoid talking while driving from point A to point B. Since I've started the Happiness Makeover both children have expressed interest in communicating about their day, what we're doing, where we're going, and how they feel about the things that we are doing. Again it shows me that they have become more confident in communicating based on how I receive and react to what they say.
Overall both boys have shown a drastic increase in emotional stability, communication, affection, vulnerability, and confidence.
With time I imagine this will continue to grow stronger as I continue to teach them through my own examples and learning.
According to Harvard research, happiness spreads up to three degrees of separation. When someone signs up for the Happiness Makeover, I know this work will spread to their treasured relationships too. Happiness is contagious, it is a collective experience and when you put positive psychology to work, you can see the spread of smiles with your own eyes.
These changes occurred for this family through telephone coaching. I have never met them face to face.
Makes sense to me, if mom is happier, kids are happier.
Everyday, I see the amazing effects of how positive psychology drastically changes lives.
Dr. Aymee Coget