By Tiffany Braxton

There’s no magic bullet to raising happy children — every parent knows that. But, leading happy lives as parents is the single most effective way to raise healthy and happy kids. At least, that’s what superdad, philosopher, and serial author Daisaku Ikeda tells us in his much-acclaimed book Happy Parents, Happy Kids: Parenting Advice for the Twenty-First Century.

And he’s dead right on the money. When happiness thrives in the lives of parents, it thrives in their children’s lives, too. Simply put, you need to put the joy of your spouse first, before everyone else, including your kids.

Consider the following ways to nurture a happy marriage and provide your children with a blueprint on how to live a healthy, fulfilling life.

Start with Yourself

You cannot simply instill happiness in others if you aren’t happy yourself. That’s the inherent message in Daisaku Ikeda’s piece. You see, parent’s single-most important task is to demonstrate to their kids how to live a happy and fulfilling life. Which begs the question: how can you bolster your happiness?

Start off by putting your needs first. Down the tools once in a while, go to the spa, and get pampered like never before. Even better, take up yoga and meditation as well as exercise regularly. All these will leave you feeling rejuvenated and happy. Besides, a yoga, meditation or workout session has been known to encourage the brain to release happy-making hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.

 

Create Mommy-Daddy Alone Time

It might seem impossible to stay away from your kids, but making time to be alone is paramount. You’ll want to find a good babysitter to remove the jitters and feel less guilty for going out to have fun. It doesn’t have to be something big. Taking long walks, jogs or hikes together can do the trick. Make sure that your adult-only time is a routine, not a one-time thing.

 

Take Advantages of Little Ways to Be Nice

It pays to be kind to your spouse. And the benefit is threefold: first, you’ll showcase to the kids how to treat others; second, rekindle the pre-babies romance; and, third, it’ll offer you a chance to transition to happy parenting smoothly. Being nice is all about expressing the 3As – appreciation, affection, and admiration.

 

Go Above and Beyond to Keep Things Fresh

Sure, happy parents = happy children. However, building a happy marriage is no picnic; you have to go out on a limb to find new and exciting ways to truly connect and keep things in your relationship fresh. That could mean finding a regular babysitter so you can take nightly couple cooking classes.

 

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