Happy parents raise happy kids

Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Start Your Journey to Happiness


My dad always said that the process of anything in life depends highly on how your start it. A good start will set us up for a nice and easy process, while challenging starts will set the tone for struggle. I think happiness is a lifelong quest. I chose to adopt my dad’s philosophy and tried to instill this belief in my children.

Here are my A to Z rules for having good starts and continuing the happiness journey. I hope you will find them successful and encouraging.

Act on your goals rather than waiting for things to happen to you. If you want to start feeling happy, make it happen. Act on it. Waiting for that “one day” when your life will be they way you want it to be will only reinforce the fact that you are far away from it. Moving slowly, by taking action, towards your goal, will make you feel like you are just that tiny bit closer.

This post is part 6 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

How to Have a Happy Life

The Family Matters Team

I have dedicated my life to promoting happy living. I have watched many people living the life they want and, unfortunately, too many people who have no clue about bringing happiness into their lives.

I suggest to all my clients that they come up with an A to Z list of living a happy life. Below is just one version of what they have come up with. I hope it will encourage you to come up with your own.

Appreciate yourself and others. Accept everything as it is. Appreciation is the ability to see good in yourself and others. It does not change who you are but how you perceive things.

Be yourself! This is the main goal in life. Do not try to be someone else. It is draining. You are unique, special and perfect, just the way you are. Cherish it!

This post is part 4 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

How to Be a Great Teacher (U to Z)

An apple and a bookworm

I love teaching. I think teaching is my calling and I know that many teachers feel the same. Over the years, I have collected effective philosophy and teaching tips and am happy to share some with you. In this last post in How to Be a Great Teacher, here are the tips from U to Z.

Use your space creatively rather than in the old fashioned way. A classroom needs to feel cozy and fun so that kids do not wait impatiently for the bell to ring so they can run away. Even if your classroom is small, be creative. You can make palaces out of any sized class. The students can feel like they are kings, queens, knights and princesses. You can tell whether you classroom decoration is good by the reaction of the kids from other rooms, by the fact that your students make sure their parents come to see it and by noticing that you need to encourage your students to go outside and play with their friends.

This post is part 5 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

How to Be a Great Teacher (L to T)

Apple on a stack of books

Establishing a good teaching philosophy and adopting useful tips from experienced teachers are essential tools for effective teaching. In this post, we continued with the letters L through T of How to Be a Great Teacher.

Love of learning is the ultimate teachers’ goals. Use any (positive) way you can think of to promote, advertise and support your students’ love of learning. If they love learning, regardless of what mark they get, you get an A in teaching. To evaluate yourself, ask the kids at the end of every year how much they enjoyed and loved learning with you.

This post is part 3 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

How to Be a Great Teacher (A to K)

Love teaching written on a blackboard

As teachers, our teaching ability is an art form that we keep developing throughout our careers. One of the best parts of any professional development courses I run for teachers, is the discussion about our philosophy and tips we can share with others about teaching. Establishing a good teaching philosophy and adopting useful tips from experienced teachers are essential tools for effective teaching.

Here is a guide that has informed my teaching over the years. I hope the teachers reading this blog will find it useful.

Affirmations are very important in education. Things you repeat over and over again become the thoughts and beliefs of your students. Make sure to plant good affirmations in their minds, ones that they will be able to use long after you are not there. “I can do it!” for example, is a great affirmation that will benefit them more in life than an A in math. Watch what you are repeating.

This post is part 2 of 6 in the series A-to-Z Guides

Teacher Power


Today is the first school day in Australia and my 12-year-old daughter Noff is starting high school. That’s it, my little girl is in high school and I am very emotional.

Every year, on the first day of school, we get up very early. Most years, the kids could not sleep from too much excitement. If school starts at 8:45, but they were ready to go at 7:00. It is funny how many years you can drop kids off at school (my eldest is 25 years old now) and still have the same feeling every first day of the year. It is one of those things that time and practice do not change. I drop them off at school and feel I give the most precious thing for me to a group of teachers who will spend more time with him or her than I will. It is not a feeling of neglect, more like a bond we have between us, parents and teachers, that will last for as long as my child goes to that school.

The Art of Listening: How to Listen

Listen more talk less

To wrap up our the “The Art of Listening” series , here are some great tips on how to become a better listener.

To start off, we discussed 10 situations that turn off the listening switch and make it harder to keep engaged. In the previous post, I shared four listening types: the kind listener, the empathic listener, the critical listener and the solution focused listener.

In this post, I will share ideas of how to become a kind listener, an empathic listener, a critical listener and a solution focused listener and how to use each of these listening styles when appropriate.

This post is part 3 of 3 in the series The Art of Listening

I’m OK, You’re OK Parenting: Parenting Styles

3 nice kids on the street

As a parent, it is important to be aware of which parenting style you use. The ideal is an “I’m OK – You’re OK” style. What’s your parenting style?

Once you know how you parent, you can slowly shift towards a more positive mindset. According to psychiatrist Thomas Harris, there are four types of parenting style:

- I’m OK – You’re OK
- I’m OK – You’re not OK
- I’m not OK – You’re OK
- I’m not OK – You’re not OK

The I’m OK – You’re OK mindset is important in all kinds of relationships: parent-child relationships, love relationships, family relationships and even work relationship.

This post is part 4 of 7 in the series I'm OK - You're OK Parenting

Happy and Rich: One Way Street

One way street sign

The happier people are, the more successful they are with their money, work and relationships, claims psychology professor Ed Diener, an author of a study conducted by the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. The study found that happy people are more likely to get married, to stay married and think positively about their marriage.

Diener compared people who were not happy to those who were happy and said that the happy people volunteered more, earned more and were highly rated by their supervisors. He also found that happy people, on average, are healthier, and live longer.

The surprising bit about this research was not that money, good work, long life and health brought happiness, but that it was exactly the opposite! Happiness brought money, good work, long life and health.

Kids Learn Through Play

Little boy in a straw hat

For children, life is a playground. They love to play. From tiny babies who hold toys and manipulate them clumsily, to school children, who play sophisticated games that require thinking, planning and manipulating, kids just love games. In fact, games are a source of calm and comfort for most. They stimulates the mind and body using a “fun incentive”.

Education in early childhood is very important in building the foundation for happy learning. The early impression children have of learning determines their attitude towards acquiring new knowledge later on in life. Researchers discovered that pre-teen children who called their learning activities “play” were more successful, happier in school and more socially content at the end of adolescence than those who considered their learning activities “work”.

Children play games for many purposes. For example, games can be used to improve social skills. During games, kids must negotiate, share, relate and connect with others. This helps develop understanding, compassion, empathy, acceptance and trust. Later on, this allows healthy intimacy.

Ronit Baras

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