Recently I have seen many examples of parents struggling so hard to “make” their children happy. This prompted me to bring out a blog I wrote early in the school year. If you fall prey to the idea that your most important job is to make kids happy, please read on. If you sometimes are more ready to be your children’s friend than a parent, read on.
Would you believe there is a concept so universally accepted that Biblical scholars and secular psychologist agree upon it? Even more amazing is the fact that we all tend to ignore it. The concept is that striving for happiness creates unhappiness.
You can find this referenced in Scripture as frequently as in Psychology Today. Still, we all arrogantly think that we can create happiness. Not only that, we think we can create happiness in others. As parents, we try to “make our children happy“, even though we cognitively know it’s impossible. It’s a part of our human need to be in control.
We overload them with great experiences. We give them whatever they want. We treat them to things they don’t even want – all in the name of making them happy.
We get so busy that we don’t stop for those teachable moments. Take time to ask about how someone else felt. Take time to help them learn to pick up after themselves. Take time to listen to their stories no matter how trivial they may seem. Take time to work together helping another person. Be completely honest yourself.
They will be happier doing the right things than they will striving for happiness. Teach and model for them good character – honesty, self-discipline, polite manners, generosity, empathy, and they will have a far more enjoyable life than the selfish pursuit of happiness.
Resolve to pursue the teaching of goodness.
Blessings on your parenting,
Tim Miesner, Principal