It’s not only good for their social development, but it’s also beneficial to their physical health.
The cheapest investment a parent can make in their child’s future is smiling more each day. The other day I was lurking a friend’s profile picture and reading the comments. One of the posts could have been a statement said to me: “Smile! You’d look prettier.” My girlfriend is a mother of three, and she often runs herself to the bone. So when she had her makeup on and looked pretty, she took a selfie without a smile.
I have often avoided smiling in my selfies, due to fear that the laugh lines would show and make me look older than I want to. But, there are other reasons that I could be caught without a smile in any photo, to be honest.
I’m a mother and between picking up someone’s dirty laundry on the bathroom floor to cleaning dishes and doing laundry, I’m too tired to smile more at my children. For many parents, especially those of toddlers, I know I’m not alone. Still, it’s crucial to smile, when the moment requires and when you remember. Smiling does something to parenting, that other forms of discipline often miss.
Smiling communicates love to our children even when we think they aren’t watching. As a mother of four children, I ought to know. I didn’t make myself smile at my oldest two children. But when I had the last two with a fourteen-year difference in between, I realized my mistakes and purposefully forced a smile on my face when I rather cry, pull my hair out or scream.
Interestingly, my last two children smile way more than the first. When I did some research on the science of smiling, I discovered that smiling provides a ton of health benefits for child development.
No one said parenting would be easy, but no one ever really tells you how hard it can be either. One way to encourage our children to behave better, respond more to discipline and to bond when times are tough? Science says you need to smile more.
You’d be surprised to how smiling not only is a crucial factor to your child’s earliest developments starting from the moment you hold your baby in your arms. But, even through those difficult teen years when defiance and respect issues start up again, a smile communicates love, care, concern, and trust.
In fact, your smile is a reminder of your deepest love and confidence. It can have an amazing beneficial health benefit that prompts neuron changes in your child’s brain that can turn awkward and even treacherous moments into parent-child bonding that strikes to the core of their character.
Here are 3 science-backed reasons why smiling at your child (and with them) is one of the most important jobs you have.
- Smiling triggers a release of powerful happiness chemicals.
When you smile, you trick your brain into believing that you are happy. The funny thing is that even when your child is struggling or sensing that things aren’t right between you, the same neurotransmitters are released by the power of your grin. The next thing you know, your child will feel happier on the inside.
A happier child will bond more with their parent and want to please mom or dad by doing things that are expected. Of course, this isn’t a guarantee. Strong-willed children will do as they please. The good news is that the positivity bond strengths regardless. You’re basically making deposits of joy that you can withdraw later on.
- Smiling at your child drops improves your blood pressure and theirs.
Parenting is stressful. Imagine what it feels like for a child who has no or limited control over their environment. The learning curve for what it’s like to live in an adult world is steep. So when you smile at your child during teachable moments, you foster and encourage security, which in turns helps their emotions to balance and give them the ability to learn free from fear.
- Smiling more encourages a positive attitude.
If you’ve ever heard a tone spoken that you didn’t like from your child, you may have followed up with asking for an improvement in attitude as well.
Smiling encourages them to see no matter how stressful circumstances are, you are a team. Your sign of pleasure and love even during the most unlovable moments lets your child or even your teen know that everything works itself out and things are going to be okay.