This one’s for parents who want to raise happy kids!

This one’s for parents who want to raise happy kids!

As a parent, they say you’re only ever as happy as your unhappiest child!

And it’s so true.

As a parent, also, we all want our children to be happy and healthy, successful and satisfied.

But as a parent, we all know this is easier said than done; so here are some tips from a 70 year study…

via by Jessica Stillman

You may have read about Harvard’s Grant study, which followed 268 Harvard students for more than 70 years to figure out the keys to health and happiness (hint: the answer is just one word). The media has made a lot of hay out of the long-running research, oohing and aahing at its length and scope.

But I’ve got to tell you, the Harvard study is peanuts compared to the British birth cohorts.

After World War II scientists in the UK began what became a truly gargantuan undertaking. Interested in the conditions for mothers in the war-ravaged country, researchers decided to survey every woman who gave birth over a one week period in 1946. The result was some 14,000 detailed questionnaires about every aspect of birth in Britain at the time.

Then a generation later, they did it again, and again and again, surveying around 70,000 kids as they moved through their lives over a 70-year time period to see how they were doing in terms of health, education, and overall thriving. You can imagine the reams and reams of data generated.

What does it all boil down to? That is an enormous and ongoing question, but author Helen Pearson has a few powerful conclusions to share. In a TED talk last year (full talk below, hat tip to Swiss Miss) she explained what she learned as a scientist and mother from the experience of writing her book, The Life Project, on the cohort studies.

What does 70 years of data say about how to be a good parent?

Her first takeaway is both the least shocking and the most depressing: if at all possible, try not to be born poor. As just about everyone would expect, kids born into disadvantaged families grow up, on average, to do less well by any measure.

The trouble, of course, is that we can’t choose our parents. Some of us win what billionaire investor Warren Buffett has called “the ovarian lottery” and some of us don’t. And if that were all there was to it, the world would be unbearably sad. But thankfully, the cohort studies also reveal another profound truth.

“Parenting matters,” Pearson declares.

By comparing kids born in similar troubled circumstances and then following them to see which ones beat the odds, the researchers are beginning to tease out which parental behaviors have the most impact when it comes to promoting kids’ success and flourishing. And here’s the happy news — most of them are entirely within the reach of any parent, no matter their means…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE