What really makes kids happy?


Happy baby


As parents isn’t this something we all want to know?

A recent study by IKEA took the answers from 2000 parents, and 1000 children between the ages of 7 and 18 to find out what really makes kids happy and whether their parents share the same opinions. The answer is simpler than you may think.

While the research revealed that 33% of parents worried about space in their homes, citing that more space would make their children happy, the kids themselves reported otherwise. While 26% of children agreed, almost double that (50%) disagreed and instead stated that having input into the way their bedrooms were decorated would make them happier.

The study also found that having family dinners (29%), playing in the garden (26%), being read a story by mum or dad (20%) or even helping their parents out around the house (14%) surprisingly make children happier than these things did for their parents. Family dinners was reported as the most important aspect of family life.

But what makes children happiest of all? No, it’s not about space or stuff – it’s simply spending time with their family.

As part of the research, IKEA has been working with psychotherapist and children’s counsellor Phillip Hodson of the UK Council for Psychotherapy, to give advice for families wanting to make their homes a happier place.

Here are Phillip’s top tips for making your children’s home life happier:

  • “Plan to do a proper family dinner once weekly letting the kids help choose and prepare the food.”
  • “Always consult the children about bedroom furnishings.  You don’t have to accept black walls and ceilings but their space needs to be personal.”
  • “Often the most precious present you can give your child is your time – even if you just listen or play.”
  • “Happy children know they have a lot to learn and don’t necessarily get their own way – so don’t overpraise.”


Visit www.ikea.co.uk/familytogether for more inspirational ideas to bring the family together.










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