5 Essential Keys to Your Child’s Happiness in 2024
As is traditional at the start of each new year, we generally seek to make changes that we believe will improve our lives and help us make the most of a fresh set of 365/366 days. As we should, because no matter how well we feel we’re doing, there’s always room for improvement. This is as true for academics as it is for any other area of life. That’s the idea behind New Year Resolutions but the thing about them is that before the end of the first month, most people have already given up. A better strategy would be to set realistic and achievable goals for the year. The key words being “realistic” and “achievable”.
I have just recently, in the past one year, written a series of exams and completed my final year studies to obtain my first degree. It was a very rewarding process. I am looking forward to resuming law school soon to become a lawyer. I don’t know anybody’s individual hopes for the new year but I do know that everyone wants to be happy, and I cannot deny that academic success = happiness. Of course, it is not the only means to happiness because happiness comes in various forms for different people, but definitely one thing we can all agree on is that success begets happiness.
No child wants to fail and parents certainly want to see their children succeed. So, for a more successful and happy year, I believe these four keys are essential to your child’s happiness in 2024;
- Stay Healthy
This is the first on the list because as we all know, health is wealth. A student cannot achieve much in the way of success if he/she is not healthy. Physical health is certainly essential, but mental health is just as important. We live in a post-covid era where mental health has gradually become a major topic of discussion and we’re expected to be more conscious of the ways in which stress factors may impair our mental health. For parents, this means being more aware of the stress factors that could negatively affect your child’s academic performance and helping to keep these things far away – things such as excess pressure. It is good to expect the best performance from your child but this should be done with their mental health in consideration. Talking with them as often as possible to find out they are coping also helps.
Digital detox is a healthy life choice now and another contributor to positive mental health. It should be encouraged as frequently as possible for as long as reasonably possible. It helps to shut out distractions, clear mental clutter, reduce anxiety, prioritise the things that are really important and stay focused. Still a student myself, I can honestly say that focus is surely something the present generation of students could use more of.
- Stay Motivated
The holidays are over, and work has begun. Students need to have a plan and a vision of what they want to achieve in the school year, setting a target of the grades and marks they aim to score. Nothing is impossible if we can visualise it. It’s one of the best ways to stay motivated during the term, before exams come along. One cannot afford to wait until the last minute to get motivated. With so many depressing things happening in the world around us all the time, we need to be encouraged to dream big because the future ahead of us is bright. When we feel there’s nothing to look forward to, depression may set in. We need to be reminded that success is possible and that we can achieve anything we set our minds to.
- Stay Organised
If there’s one thing I wish I could go back and improve on from when I was in university, it would be staying organised. As a student, you need to know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. It helps to have a schedule and to plan what you’re going to spend your time doing. Setting time-specific goals also helps you gauge your progress and avoid getting overwhelmed.
- Stay Productive
Students need to try not to be idle. Idleness gives way to mindless scrolling on social media. Those hours we spend scrolling could be spent on more productive tasks and we know it! Now, I’m not saying students should always have their faces buried in a book. It’s necessary to take short breaks to refresh the brain and avoid mental lag. When I read for exams and I find myself getting stuck at a particular paragraph or page, I always find it helpful to watch a few YouTube videos, just as a reset. But I always make sure to go back to my studying and when I do, I am able to focus.
- Stay Consistent
When I worked on my final year dissertation for my undergraduate studies, I did just a little bit of work every day and that added up to the finished body of work which earned me an A. If I had let procrastination get the better of me, I’m certain I never would have achieved that grade. We know we need to start burning the midnight oil weeks before exams but we keep postponing it until one day we wake up and realise that we really don’t have that much time left. This is not the way to succeed as a student. A chapter of that heavy textbook every day will go a long way in preparing us for the exams that we know are inevitable. I know that it’s so easy to procrastinate as a student, in fact, it’s the easiest thing to do but showing up every day and doing the work that needs to be done is by far more rewarding.
Still on the topic of happiness, parents play a huge role in influencing their children’s happiness. The words you speak as a parent really have a major psychological impact on your children. Encourage them to believe that they can attain great heights if they are hardworking and focused. Every child has academic potential unique to him/her. They should be encouraged to always perform at their best, according to their unique ability. This encouragement could come not just in the form of words but also by ensuring they are in the right environment. As a student who struggled academically throughout most of my university years due to certain factors that made my study environment unconducive, I can honestly say that environment matters a lot – both physically and mentally.
As already established, happiness and academic success are intertwined. So far, have you created the best environment for your child’s happiness? That is, one that is devoid of family drama and domestic problems? Your child needs optimum concentration and focus to succeed, but if they have to deal with those issues as well, it will affect their performance. There are choices my own folks made that did not work in my favour academically and I wish things had been different. How are the choices you make affecting your children?
These essential factors will add up ultimately to determine your child’s success and happiness. As you navigate the coming weeks and months ahead, may it be successful indeed!
Happy New Year, I wish you a spectacular year ahead!