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To Create Change, We Must First Believe it is Possible

A social experiment, asking adults how they envision the future of the world, followed by asking their children how they view their future. The parents are left with an important question to answer, and a final message: There is still time. Read full article

Therese Rein's Inspiring Letter to her Granddaughter Josephine

<a href="/articles/therese-reins-inspiring-letter-to-her-granddaughter-josephine">Therese Rein&#039;s Inspiring Letter to her Granddaughter Josephine</a>

On 22 June 2012 Therese Rein presented at the Young Minds conference and shared some personal stories of resilience - I sat and listened with the entranced audience. Towards the end of the presentation, Ms Rein spoke of her wishes for Josephine, her recently born granddaughter. I was so moved by this that I rushed out like a groupie and asked Ms Rein if she would share these words with me to publish on happychild; graciously she said yes, and consented to a photo with me. The photo is just to prove how keen I was! So here are the words for you also. Let me know if you love them as much as I do? "Letter to Josephine" Read full article

Benefits of Teaching Positivity to Children

<a href="/articles/benefits-of-teaching-positivity-to-children">Benefits of Teaching Positivity to Children</a>

Follow the advice of "fake it 'til you make it" or just "be positive", and you may end up oozing a kind of "toxic insincerity" says Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, Professor of Psychology and specialist investigator of positive emotions and psychophysiology at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Fredrickson was speaking at a workshop that was part of the Young Minds conference held last week at Darling Harbour in Sydney. Teaching the benefits of positivity, Dr. Fredrickson says instead of ‘thinking positive’, we should aim to identify the experiences and contexts that give us a positive emotion, and then repeat them. Research indicates that experiencing positive and negative emotions in about a 3-to-1 ratio, has the potential to enhance your relationships, improve your health, relieve depression, and broaden your mind. Read full article

How Happy are You Compared with Your Country Average? A Test.

<a href="/blogs/yvettevignando/2011/11/03/how-happy-are-you-compared-with-your-country-average-a-test">How Happy are You Compared with Your Country Average? A Test.</a>

I had to share this - it's very quick and a bit interesting to compare your results with the rest of your country. A happiness test on Scientific American called "How Happy Are You?" with a table for you to see how your happiness compares with other people in your country and the rest of the world.Positive and negative feelings are measured. I share my results with you too. How did you go and what country are you from? Read full article

Happy Children - Secrets of How They Think

<a href="/parenting-resources/optimism/happy-children-secrets-of-how-they-think">Happy Children - Secrets of How They Think</a>

Interviews with children about how they view their lives and the world around them. Elizabeth Gould, conducted wide-ranging interviews and now tells the children's stories and reveals four distinct patterns of how these happy children think. Even though these happy children face all the usual ups and downs of childhood, including bullying and family issues, they have found a way to be happy and stay happy. Read full article

A New Year's Omen - Dolphins and Children - Both Magical

I’m sitting at the dining table with a cool breeze blowing on to my face from the lake and ocean. It’s the new year, 2011, and I’m feeling like I always feel on 1 January: expectant, inexplicably and irrationally optimistic about anything that’s been troubling me and suddenly more grateful than usual for the good things in my life. New Year’s Eve does not hold much attraction for me unless it happens to be a great meal with friends but I do look forward to New Year with a magical belief that all things good can happen in the following year. No idea why. Read full article

Childrens' Health Enhanced by More than Fruit and Vegetables

<a href="/blogs/yvettevignando/2010/10/11/childrens-health-enhanced-by-more-than-fruit-and-vegetables">Childrens&#039; Health Enhanced by More than Fruit and Vegetables</a>

In an article published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, it was concluded that happiness prolongs the life of healthy people and may even protect against us falling ill. Scientists have known for some time that stress can have a negative effect on our immune systems. Probably I am slightly more paranoid that the average parent but I often think about my kids’ health throughout the day – have they brushed their teeth, did they have enough vegetables at dinner, why aren’t they eating lunch at school, did they do enough physical exercise this week? Read full article