Just came across this article on US News and World Report, which says the key to raising smart and happy kids is taking a cue from the attributes of dolphins, who are playful, social, and intelligent.
"What we focus on becomes our reality," Achor writes. But to get our perspective right, we must prime ourselves, and our children, for the right angle. One tool is to remind ourselves of past accomplishments to nurture future achievements. So, for example, you might display a picture of your child clutching her debate trophy before she heads off to a big tournament.
A ratio of five positive interactions to every negative one is optimal to achieve a state of emotional health in which success can flourish, Achor says. Consider modeling optimism to your kids by expressing gratitude for daily happenings at the dinner table, he suggests. And don't forget to smile – it causes a mirror reaction in others.
Shawn Anchor, a happiness researcher, has a new book coming out about the topic, as well as a TED talk that is apparently hilarious and insightful. There is a link the in the article, which you can read here.