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Are Happy Children are Born that Way?

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health , Tags: happiness, happy, moody, nature, nurture, personality, unhappy

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Could it be that some children born happy while others not?  Some children certainly seem happier than others even if they come from the same family, so can it be that some children are going to be happy from day one and others will always be moodier or more inclined to be unhappy?

If they fall over, some children laugh and others burst into floods of tears.  When they wake up, some laugh at the sunny morning and jump out of bed.  Others turn over in a moody shrug.  If they don't get their own way some get stroppy and remain miserable for hours.  Others just move on to the next activity and forget about it.  Why is this?

Some scientists would say that yes, some children do have a tendency to be happier than other children.  However, it cannot be proved beyond doubt.  Wherever your child is on the happy/sad spectrum, the important thing is to be aware of how they might respond in certain situations and react accordingly.

Child psychologist Dr. Lise Eliot, Associate Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School, maintains that happiness is a state of mind, a mood, rather than an inborn trait.  However, certain aspects of a baby's temperament (shy or bold for example) will play a role in determining how happy they are.  And, it is this emotional information that is embedded in the brain.

This doesn't mean to say that if your little one is scared of going to pre-school, or nervous of new people that they will be unhappy later in life.  Not at all.  In fact nature and nurture play an equally important role in the first years of a child's life.  Just because a baby's temperament (confident or reserved) may be determined by nature, it doesn't mean it's permanent.  Nurture plays a very important role too and those early traits can be modified and honed down with careful parenting.  The end result is personality... a blend of the two.

Personality is controlled by the frontal lobe of the brain.  We feel good things in the left frontal cortex and bad things in the right, according to scientists. It is said that people with happier dispositions have more activity in their left frontal lobe.

So, spot any signs of unhappy tendencies and deal with them.  Support a nervous child; try to tame a bold child; nurture a nervous child and try to guide them to be rounded, happy and creative individuals.


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