Mommy’s Goal: A Hapee Kiddie
When I became a mom, it had been my goal and passion to make my kids happy. I am happy when they are happy. Yes, a Hapee Kiddie is a goal. And I try to do everything to put an extra smile on their faces.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When that question is asked, kids often come up with many answers. They have ambitions and goals in life. And a lot of these are influenced by what they see around them as well as their parents’ motivation.
While these are all good things, I believe that the ultimate goal should be happiness. Our accomplishments should be accompanied with joy. We see many people who are so successful, even at a young age. They have everything but they are not happy.
It is my sincere hope that when somebody asks children what they want to be when they grow up, they would say, “Happy.”
Depression is a Killer
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that suicide accounts for about 1.4% of deaths around the world. In the United States, the number is steadily increasing, with more and more popular names getting included in the list.
Even the Philippines is not spared. More and more young people are succumbing to depression because they cannot handle extreme sadness. And they see death as the easier way out.
It’s a really, really sad state when you have everything that this world can offer but you are devoid of happiness.
Hapee Kiddie = Happy Parents
We are happy when the kids are happy. It’s not really about putting them on a pedestal, it’s creating a happy atmosphere in the family. We are not perfect. We all have disagreements and arguments. But in the end, we are a family and we kiss and make up.
We think that it’s healthier for them, both emotionally and mentally, to grow up in a loving and happy home environment.
Happiness in Experiences
While we are for raising a Hapee Kiddie in a happy home, we are not much into material things. Sure, we buy toys, crafts, and books. But we would rather invest in experiences. Here are some of the ways that we create happy memories with our kids. It might as well be spelled C-A-S-T-L-E, as we are also building our little castle (home) here on earth.
We have always taught the kids in words and actions that not everything is about them. Our little day to day problems can seem like a drop in the bucket with all the concerns around the world.
With that thought, we have made giving a lifestyle. It’s not like holding charity events, it’s showing them that other people need help and we have some capacity to help them. Like for example our family help fund, which is money we have saved in order to help others in need.
And for her 8th birthday, we did something different for our eldest Shawna. With her agreement, we held her party for the children at the Home of Hope orphanage here in Bacolod City. We told her not to expect gifts from the orphans and she was fine with it.
But she was already happy when they sang a song for her. When asked to say something, she said that she was thankful to have spent her birthday there and she wished to do it again.
Adventure and Discovery.
We love our family travels. We learn more about the world and about ourselves when we go anywhere and everywhere together. As much as we can, we bring the kids when we go somewhere, even if it’s just a simple road trip. And then we have as much fun as we can, experiencing new things and eating new foods. We also rest in between, as we cannot thoroughly enjoy when we are tired. With our love for travel, we have decided to spend our special days having a birthday trip than holding a party.
The kids are happiest when they are swimming and horseback riding. These are the two of the most enjoyable activities for them. If they can only bring horses and the swimming pool home, they certainly would.
One of the happiest staycations that we had recently is at Bantug Lake Ranch where we stayed at The Verdant Villas. The kids enjoyed two days of swimming and horseback riding there.
Last year, Shane was still smaller and needed one of us to ride with her. Check the video below taken at Bantug Lake Ranch. They also especially enjoyed their riding lessons at the Happy Horse Farms Equestrian Center.
The kids love stories. They have really active imaginations and story times are some of their most exciting times at home. But when their Papa tells the story, it’s just different. He can be all silly and the girls couldn’t help but laugh and giggle, even when the books do not have pictures. It’s his changing voice and sound effects that do the trick.
Just check out the excerpt of their story telling time below:
Time and Traditions.
Though it seems that it’s never enough, we try to spend as much time with the kids as we can. Daddy drives them to their lessons like ballet and such, so he gets to spend some quality “talk time” with them. Since I work at home as a freelancer and mommy blogger, I get to take care of them and am with them for almost all day.
We are also for creating happy family traditions. There are just certain activities that we do together as a family on a regular basis, like annually, so that they will associate these events to happy memories.
One of the things that we have added to our family traditions is our Achi Dindin painting the Nativity Scene yearly. She has three paintings done in a course of three years already and we can see her strokes improving. She started when she was 6 years old. We would like to continue this nice tradition and hang her paintings on our wall.
The kids have different love languages. Achi Shawna’s love language is more on quality time while Siobe Shane prefers affection and well, yes quality time as well. But even with time, they want to spend it differently.
Shawna is not much on being affectionate. Instead, she likes deep conversations. Although she talks a lot about scientific stuff that I know nothing about, I try to keep up with her for the sake of relationship. Meanwhile, Shane was breastfed for three and a half years. She likes cuddles, tickles, hugs, and kisses–anything with skin to skin contact.
They are also happiest when we are doing something together, even if it’s something very simple. Watch the video below:
The girls particularly like toys, clothes, accessories, and of course, books! Hubby and I really try to meet halfway with the kids in this aspect. What we like to do for them may not exactly be what they need. So we try and find out what makes them tick. Check out their video below:
The most lasting kind of happiness is, of course, eternal life. We have introduced the kids to the concept of God at a very young age. They believe in God and in eternal life. We believe that it’s their relationship with Christ that will carry them through, even with life’s difficulties and uncertainties. And of course, through eternity.
In the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the most famous of the questions asked by many Presbyterian children, “What is the chief end of man?” And the answer is: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” There is immense joy in knowing that you have a greater purpose than just mere existence. That is why we have introduced God at the earliest possible time.
In the video below, Shane sings “The Salvation Poem” from the TV series, Super Book. She was two years old back then.
How about you, mommies? What makes your kids happy? 😀
All About Gratitude
One of the biggest concepts that we are trying to instill in the kids is gratitude. It is being thankful and happy no matter what they have–or the lack thereof. That way, their happiness doesn’t depend on their situation or what they have. They will have thankful hearts in spite and despite of life. That should also keep them from being jealous. Jealousy is such a joy stealer. 🙁
A lot of times, it’s not that we are in lack that we become unhappy. Sometimes, it’s because we did not count our blessings. That is the kind of counting that really matters. And honestly, we don’t always give our kids what they want. Read more about it: Why We Don’t Give Our Kids What They Want
Making Mama Happy
Part of making my kids happy is also making Mama happy. I realized that my kids don’t need a smart, successful, sexy, or rich Mama–they simply need a happy Mama. In order to do that, I needed to re-assess my life, my emotional triggers, and such. I have become more tolerant about the things that I cannot change.
Additionally, I started doing things that make me happy, such as losing weight. There is a sense of personal achievement in that. Then I also reinvented my mommy style. I never realized that fashion could change my whole look and outlook. In the past, I never really cared about how I dressed or looked. Now, a little perk me up in my wardrobe changed me so much.
Hapee Kiddie Toothy Tales
One of the ways of keeping that happy smile on your kids lips is for them to have healthy teeth. In our family, I am a stickler to dental health, which is the reason why the kids brush regularly and we keep our bi-annual check up with our family dentist.
Watch the short video below about Hapee Kiddie Tooth Tales.