How to keep your kids smiling

When the self-consciousness of the teen years visited me, I lost my smile.  Not good for anyone as smiling is a powerful way to boost #emotionalintelligence.



Smiling is both a cheer-up tool, a relationship building tool, and a way to practice kindness.  However, it must be genuine.  This post is not about faux happiness or fake smiles.

Sad fact: Life steals smiles. 

Happier fact: Parents can use the following tips to keep the power of their children’s smiles to light up their lives.

Tip one: Make laughing a daily routine. Tell jokes at the dinner table and yes family should be eating dinner together. Have laughing contests – pass a laugh around a circle; you win if you are the last person to laugh. Watch a Laughing Yoga videos Here’s one:

Practicing laughing is also practicing smiling.

A warning about tickling: it can be painful. My brothers tickled me until I wet my pants. Sibling abuse. But grown-ups often don’t know when to stop tickling and certainly my parents did worry when my brothers tickled me. I hated it. I  banned tickling both as a parent and a foster parent. That might have been carrying things a bit too far. Still make sure your child knows to say “Stop” and that any ticklers in your house know to stop the tickling immediately.

Tip two:  Practice the From Sad to Mad to Glad Emotional Fitness Training exercise.  Practicing it increases awareness of  your bodily and facial expressions and how they relate to what you or another might be feeling. Reading body language is an important communication skill.  Moreover, this exercise also helps you helps you smile genuinely. Here it is:

Body language exercise.

Remember every EFTI poster on a blog post can be found free at the EFTI Store.


Smiling is also a way of practicing kindness. I smile a great deal at strangers when I say good morning or good day. But as another way of practicing kindness, I also always compliment those who smile at me.

Most smiles are beautiful and being told “Your smile sent a bit of sunshine in my heart” always leads to another smile. Even grumpy cashiers  forced to smile will smile at that one and teenagers eat it up.

Teach your children the value of genuine compliments.

Thank Word Press for inspiring this post with this Today’s Word Press Daily Prompt  Discuss  a time when it was impossible not to hear a conversation between people.

As stated above, I made a conscious decision to stop smiling as when I moved into adolescence. Why? I had and still have buck teeth. An inadvertent ease-drop started me smiling again. changed my life.  I was  somewhere behind two class mates who didn’t know I was there.

One  said to the other, “She needs to smile more, she is beautiful when she smiles.

I now know they might not have been talking about me. But for teenagers every conversation is about them.  I took this one to heart and started smiling more. I still let my smiles come and I think that has made stronger and kinder and meant more good people in my life.

Here’s one more tip. Over-hearing my classmates talk is similar to what I call a third party compliment – two people saying something nice about a third one out of that person’s presence.  Such compliments are extremely powerful.

So if someone praises your child to you when s/he is not around. Make sure you pass it on; particularly once your child enters middle school; at that stage your compliments mean very little.

Thank all of you for reading, liking, commenting or sharing my ramblings. Keeps me smiling and that keeps me strong.


4 responses to “How to keep your kids smiling

  1. Pingback: I’ll Take Care | Views Splash!

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Talking in Your Sleep | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

  3. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Talking in Your Sleep | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  4. I love the sad to mad to glad poster. Thanks! I too like to smile at strangers. It makes them feel good and it makes me feel good. (win-win for everyone) Great post for parents and for everyone. Keep smiling!

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