Children and happiness

by Rod Smith

“I see my first responsibility, as a parent, is to make my children have a happy childhood so they can have a happy life. Please comment.”

Good luck. While it is a nice ideal you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Your children’s happiness is ultimately their responsibility and not yours. The sooner they assume it the better.

If you, the parent, work hard at your own life and make the very best of your skills and talents it is more likely that you will have children who will do the same.

If you focus all of your attention on your children and on trying to make them happy it is likely you will create insatiable, demanding, and entitled men and women who are more than a challenge to all who know them.

Of course I am not suggesting parents ought to intentionally create tough lives in order to amplify challenge – this would be ridiculous.

I’d suggest you focus on providing a loving and challenging platform for your children to achieve well in all areas of their lives and get out of their way as much as possible.

Success, and reaching for success, is what results in fulfillment. I’d take “fulfillment” or “useful” or “purposeful” over the illusive state called “happiness” anytime.

One Comment to “Children and happiness”

  1. Hi Rod,

    I couldn’t agree more. No-one is responsible for anyone leses happiness. I can’t bear it when I hear ” ______ makes me happy.” This suggests a reliance on others which can lead to difficluties. What happens when they are not there?

    With children, it’s important that we teach them that happiness isn’t always derived from material things- Xboxes with my children. It can be achieved by doing someting for someone else

    Paul.

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