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For happier kids, dine together

sex-and-relationships Updated: Apr 24, 2011 01:36 IST
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Dine together, spend time together, and have a happy marriage — these are a few key ingredients to ensure your child’s happiness, according to a new wide-scale survey, held in UK, earlier this month. Researchers stated that children in the survey reported higher levels of happiness when they dined together with their families at least three times a week.

The research also suggests moms to pay attention to their love life. A happy childhood is strongly related to how satisfied mothers were in their relationships with their domestic partners. The father’s satisfaction with his romantic relationship, however, had less of an impact on the child’s well-being. Other factors that contributed in increasing childhood happiness included spending time together. “Contrary to the popular belief that children only want to spend time playing videogames or watching TV, we found that they were most happy when interacting with their parents or siblings,” said researcher Dr Maris Iacovou of the University of Essex, UK.

In the survey, the happiest kids also more often lived with two parents (either biological or stepparents), had no younger siblings, and didn’t argue with their parents often. Previous family studies have also pointed to similar factors contributing to a happy family life. The survey, part of a longitudinal study involving 40,000 families, is based on a sample of 6,441 women, 5,384 men, and 1,268 children aged between 10 and 15. Other secrets to a happy family? Putting family before friends and limiting your child’s after-school activities to opt for more time together at home.