5 Steps for Lifeling Happiness
Aug 31, 2017
It’s important to learn how to deal with adversity in life, but it is just as important to learn how to create and sustain joy. Dr. Hallowell describes a cycle of five repeating steps that are childhood roots of adult happiness. He feels the five cycle program should not only go on in childhood but throughout all of life.
- It begins with Connection.
A child can begin creating joy by generating a connection in the form of unconditional love from an adult (one or both) in his/her life. This forms basic trust early on, which is important for security, safety and the desire to take risks; the can-do attitude.
- Once the connection has been established, Play can begin.
Many children today spend too much time rushing from one activity to the next and not enough time playing. When a child is playing, they are working and learning. Play builds the imagination, teaches problem solving and cooperation, and generates joy among many other valuable developmental skills.
- While playing, a child soon finds the power of Practice.
It is rare to find the child who can ride a two-wheeler the first time or begin to walk without falling. Practice makes perfect; practice becomes discipline. Practice also opens the door to learning and to receiving help, teaching, or coaching.
- After a certain amount of practice, Mastery will develop.
The cries of mastery will be heard: “I can do it!” or “Look at me!” That feeling of mastery lays the roots for self-esteem. When a child can master something she hasn’t done before, she increases her self-esteem, confidence, leadership skills, etc..
- The achievement of mastery leads to Recognition.
When children take their first steps, people cheer and take videos. When a preschooler rides a bike for the first time, he wants to do it again for others to see. It is important for a child to feel valued and recognized after mastery to promote motivation. Recognition leads to social connectedness (being validated/showing worth), which leads to motivation.
These five short steps cannot be left to chance to create “Can-Do” kids. Parents, teachers, and all others can help children create joy for lifelong happiness.