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How can we raise happier kids?

My husband gave me a Mother’s Day card that read “I was recently asked what the most difficult part of being a parent is. Without a shadow of a doubt, it’s the kids.”  


I earlier wrote about the great things that toddlers can teach adults - positive self-talk, constant movement, asking questions without being self-conscious, and laughing, so much laughing. 

Kids laughing during an improv comedy school program

(Kids laughing during a Knuckleball Comedy after-school program)


So what happens a few years after those happy toddler days to now see news headlines lamenting the current emotional condition of older children?  A book currently at the top of the non-fiction best seller list is called “The Anxious Generation”; the US Surgeon General has declared an epidemic of loneliness, a pediatric mental health expert was interviewed on a radio show - his  theme is “the children are not ok.”  


I guess it doesn’t take a genius to make the connection between social media and smartphone use and the growing sense of isolation and anxiety among children. Of course, the pandemic made this all worse, but it was happening even before then once smartphones were becoming ubiquitous. 


So how can we stop the trend? While the issues are complicated, one thing the experts seem to agree on is that a play-based childhood is a key to their happiness.  They need more time together - in person - and therefore, less time going down rabbit holes on their devices. 


But lots of kids, already struggling with anxiety, may need help coming out of their shell to even have the confidence to happily interact in person with their peers.  So how can we help?


I know one way - a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) improv experience with Knuckleball Comedy!  Check it out on the kids page on our website on the tab above! While learning the basics of improvisation, performance and sketch comedy writing through interactive play, they’re also learning important life skills. 


We offer fun birthday parties, after school classes, summer camps and more! The environment of support and enthusiasm fosters their creativity and bolsters their self-confidence. 


Plus, they’ll likely make new friends and interact in a fresh engaging way they can never do through social media on their phones.  We’ve seen it happen.  A kid walks in reluctantly, maybe having been urged or cajoled by a parent to just give it a try.  Within minutes, they're smiling, laughing and having a great time!  


Every generation has its challenges.  But the pace of technology is mind blowing.  I could actually just ask Chatgbt to write these blogs for me - and they might even do a better job!  


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