The Seven Cardinal Rules of Raising Happy Kids
1) Don't criticize
Harshly criticising your children is probably the single most damaging thing you can do to them. Words can do profound emotional and spiritual damage to anyone, but especially to those small, defenceless little people who live in your home.
Contrary to what many parents tell themselves, criticism - especially harsh, angry criticism - is NOT synonymous with parental guidance. It can wipe out a child's Spleen energy in a heartbeat, potentially leading to all sorts of emotional and physical health issues.
If you're child already has allergies, or an autoimmune disease like eczema or asthma, that's already a big, red flag that they're Spleen energy is already not very strong, and that they need to be in a very warm, loving and nurturing emotional environment.
And if that's not enough of a reason to stop speaking harshly to your kids, let me add that criticising them to death also doesn't work - they just start tuning you out.
2) Keep the peace
As much as possible, try to have any big arguments with your better half away from your kids. Adults understand that disagreements, even loud altercations, are part and parcel of a close relationship, but children don’t.
3) Pray for them regularly
Don't wait for your kids to start acting out or getting sick to pray on them! Even if you only talk to God about them for a single minute every day, at the end of a year that means you still spent a whole six hours asking God to help your children, and to keep them happy and healthy.
4) Limit the Junk
I know it's so hard to keep the candy away from the kids, and vice-versa. I also know how hard it is to get them eat anything that even once resembled a vegetable, but the less food additives and chemicals they eat, the better it is for them and for you.
Even if you can't cut out all the junk (and we all already know that's just never going to happen) - you can still minimize the problems by cutting out the main worst offenders.
If you only do one thing, avoid MSG - it strips the myelin sheaths from your brain cells.
5) Limit their screen-time
There's only one thing that's harder than limiting the junk food, and that's limiting the junk TV. Yes, computers and tablets and i-Phones keep the kids quiet and occupied while you get on with making supper, but they also emit a lot of electromagnetic energy that can seriously disrupt a person's own energy, especially the Spleen meridian.
If you're child has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, or anything related to being hyperactive and having a low attention span, it's even more important to limit their screen time as much as possible. I know we don't like to believe it, but it really does make all of these conditions worse. Your child may well just need some more of your compassion, caring and attention, and less of Barney the Dinosaur.
6) Focus on 'prevention' instead of cure
If you spend 1 minute a day praying for your child; and another 1 minute a day giving them a heartfelt hug, you will do wonders for your children's health.
If you spend a few more minutes cooking them healthy food, taking them for the odd walk out in nature, or goofing off with them, you'll do them even more wonders, health-wise.
Then, if you do your best to work on yourself, and to get God involved in your own issues and your own life and your own health, as we've described, your home will automatically become a much healthier, happier environment for your children to grow up in.
7) Give your kids as much love, compassion and encouragement as you can
It's so easy to forget that our children are not just our children, they are also a complete other human being. So much of the time, we can treat our children in terrible ways that we wouldn't even imagine doing to other people. If you've ever wondered why you can give the neighbour a big smile and a hug, while you're simultaneously scowling at your kids the main reason is this: we can't treat our kids with compassion, if we're not treating ourselves with compassion. Children are just our mirrors, how we treat them is how we're really relating to ourselves.