I understand that the personality of a child is marked. Any mother who has more than one child realizes that each child is different and that you cannot parent any two children the same way and get the same results. Some children seem to come out of the womb oozing with joy and laughter while some come out with such a serious disposition that you wonder how two parents could create such different children. However, no matter the overall disposition, every young child has a spontaneity about them that he tends to lose as he ages. Parents must be purposeful in not allowing life to tear down the natural inclination that children have to be creative, spontaneous, and joyful.
As adults, we tend to worry about teaching our children their colors, shapes, letter recognition, and ultimately to read well and have great math skills. These beginning academic skills are necessary, and children will certainly need these to build on for their academic success. However, we know that teaching children to be joyful is best accomplished before the age of five.
If you are interested in this subject and wish to have some real-life suggestions on specific ways to teach joy to your children, there is a great book out by Linda and Richard Eyre called Teaching Your Children Joy. I recommend that you read it and try some of the activities in the book. See if you do not experience some of the laughter and “joy” that perhaps you have lost through the busyness of life.
Written by Donna McClintock, Children’s Choice Learning Centers COO