Penticton students learn the keys to happiness

Kids at Queen’s Park Elementary given message on the 7 Habits of Happy Kids

Queen's Park Elementary parent Jenny Long speaks Friday about the mural she helped create to represent the seven habits of healthy kids that the school has tried to instill in its students this year.

Queen's Park Elementary parent Jenny Long speaks Friday about the mural she helped create to represent the seven habits of healthy kids that the school has tried to instill in its students this year.

Proving that self-help books aren’t just for grown-ups, kids at Queen’s Park Elementary this year received some heady lessons on personal growth.

Students learned the 7 Habits of Happy Kids, one of several spin-offs from self-help classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Principal Rob Zoppi said kids picked up the habits through books and song, and staff tried to work them into lessons and conversations with students.

“I’m incorporating the stuff at home as well, because it’s a philosophy of life and a way of being,” said Zoppi.

“The feedback I get from parents is they’re doing the same with their kids. I think it’s a win-win situation,” he said, a nod to Habit No. 4. (Think Win-Win).

All of the habits are spelled out on a new mural on the back wall of the Queen’s Park hockey court, which includes artwork from each of the school’s 200 students.

Ten-year-old Ashley Docherty is a fan of the teachings.

“Everybody’s behaving more in class, because the teachers, once (kids) stop behaving, they just point to the 7 Habits thing, and (kids) just remember everything and they listen,” said the Grade 4 student.

“It’s improved my work and my behaviour with everything.”

The mural was painted by parent and artist Jenny Long with help from photographer Gord Wylie and Frank Darin, plus funding from the school’s parent advisory council.

The 7 Habits of Happy Kids are:

1. Be proactive

2. Begin with the end in mind

3. Put first things first

4. Think win-win

5. Seek first to understand then to be understood

6. Synergize

7. Sharpen the saw