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10 Secrets of a Happy Childhood

Every parent wants her child to be happy. But can you teach a child to be sunny as surely as you can teach him to play soccer or speak Spanish? Most scientists believe that the genes your child inherits at birth influence his happiness potential. But that doesn't mean you can't do plenty to make sure he gets the most joy out of life. Here, ten expert secrets to help you raise a child who is as happy as can be.
1. Love the child you have.

Experts agree that the number-one secret to raising a happy child is to celebrate him for who he is. When kids grow up knowing that their individual characteristics, talents, interests and opinions are valued and encouraged, they are " grounded in an inner happiness that becomes the foundation for their whole life," explains Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis, co-author of Discover Your Child's Learning Style (Prima Lifestyles).