By Melissa Guarnaccia, MSW, LCSW
I am often amazed at the smiles, laughs, and general happiness I observe as I enter various classrooms across all three divisions of Charlotte Prep. Just today I was able to see hearts open and smiles emerge as baby chicks hatched in the Early School. I was able to catch an impromptu dance party during a Lower School PE class, as well as a Middle School student assisting another on crutches while both grabbed on to each other in laughter.
Research shows that children need to be in a relaxed, calm, and happy state to be open to playing and learning. We all have this goal for our Charlotte Prep kids. As both a mother and school counselor, I strive to assist kids in learning to self-regulate their energy and emotions to be present at school and open to reaching their full potential.
We, as adults, tend to understand the need for children to be calm and regulated. But happy? How do we even clearly define happiness for our children? Adults can struggle to consider happiness as much as success, milestones, ability, or even the ideal weekly schedule.
These questions came to mind when recently reading the New York Times article, “Letting Happiness Flourish in the Classroom.” Are we able to “live in the moment” and “do nothing” with our children to foster creativity, problem-solving, and most importantly, happiness? There can be a disconnect at times between what we as a society teach our kids versus what we hope and envision for them long-term. Let us choose calm. Let us model happiness.
Note: Click here for another interesting article by the same author about fostering happiness in our children.