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10 Secrets of a Happy Childhood

4. Bring out the bright side.

"Tell your child that there is no problem you can't solve together," says Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., author of The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness (Ballantine). Also, teach your child to be optimistic. Learning optimism is important because an upbeat child is more likely to become a happy adult. Discontented people fixate on unpleasant events in their life, while joyful people focus on things that brighten their outlook, says David Niven, Ph.D., author of The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families (Harper San Francisco).