Children and happiness – building positive psychology into parenting

Children and happiness – building positive psychology into parenting

Here’s another interesting article from Positive Psychology News Daily that’s indubitably relevant to those of you interested in happiness in the context of parenting…

by Elizabeth Elizardi

Last night I sat down at the dinner table with my husband to share some of the research I found for this article. I started to tell him about the staggering statistic from the Gottman Institute that 67% of married couples report a decline in overall happiness within the year after their first child is born. I uttered the words, _ã–67% of_ã__㝠when our three-year-old interrupted with a request; something more to drink, help with her baby doll, or a comment about the dog. My husband appropriately finished my sentence with _ã–What? 67% of conversations are interrupted by your children?_㝠We both laughed, gave our daughter the attention she was seeking, and finished our conversation about happiness post kids.

The theory of Well-Being advanced by Martin Seligman in his upcoming book on flourishing focuses on five pillars; Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment (PERMA). Each of these elements contributes to well being, leads to human flourishing and can be cultivated through intentional activities.  

Parenting is a life domain which can dramatically effect well-being.  Men and women grapple with a new identity realizing that they are fathers and mothers, with all of the negative and positive connotations. They have a new role, one that can be heavily influenced by societal norms and pressures.  However, the five pillars of well being, when applied to the parenting domain, can lead to flourishing families.  How?  Through PERMA parenting. PERMA parents inculcate the five principles of well-being into their parenting behaviors with their children and relationship with their spouses.  Below is part one of a five part series on how to be a PERMA Parent.

Part One: Positive Emotions…

…enjoying this? Finding it interesting? Then read more about happiness, positive psychology and parenting HERE