Picture this: You come downstairs in the morning and see a counter full of dirty dishes. The garbage needs to be taken out, and the counters are littered with crumbs and stains from yesterday’s spaghetti. Has this ever happened to you? Your first reaction might be frustration. “Why am I the one always cleaning up?”
But then, a tiny voice comes into your head, reminding you of last night. After dinner, the entire family played board games, laughed together, and snuggled on the couch until bedtime. Your night of fun was more than just this—you spent quality family time together. Suddenly, the dirty dishes and messy countertops are worth it. But you haven’t ignored your problems. Instead, you’ve reframed.
Reframing challenges is a skill we should all practice, and teaching this idea to kids will also help them learn to appreciate the present moment and get through the more difficult times. For instance, we can teach kids to take that hard math problem and reframe it as a moment to stretch their thinking and to develop a new skill—it suddenly makes the problem a little easier! The more we can help kids practice looking for silver linings and opportunities during challenging moments, the more resilient and happier they become.
In my new book, I have created worksheets to help kids practice reframing challenges and find happiness, even during tricky and frustrating situations. Download this exercise for free here.
To find even more happiness and strength-building tools and activities be sure to check out the rest of The Happiness Workbook for Kids: 24 Fun Activities to Help Kids Focus, Make Smart Choices, and Bounce Back from Challenges
Want another exercise to help kids harness the power of happiness? Check out my other blog: Looking on the Bright Side: Using Optimism to Create Happiness.