Joy Jernigan | MSN Living Editor
Aug 7, 2013

Unlike the strict “tiger parenting” philosophy championed by author Amy Chua in her 2011 bestseller, dolphins may make a better parenting model, Shawn Achor, the author of the forthcoming book, “Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive Change” (Crown Business), tells the New York Daily News.

Studies have found that success-focused tiger parenting “begets children who suffer academically and emotionally” and “struggle with depression, anxiety and social skills,” the New York Daily News reports.

But success actually follows happiness, not the other way around, said Achor, a happiness researcher who teaches at Wharton Business School. Dolphins are playful, social and intelligent, said Achor, parenting traits that can help a child develop a healthy perspective.

The New York Daily News writes:

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.

“While it takes more cognitive processing to be happier, the more that you do these positive habits, the more that you switch your default,” Achor said. {end}

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