Sure, me too. I’d love my daughter and all the children I work with to be “happy” but I know better.
Happiness is not some destination. So how can we get there or even stay?
For most of us, we never sat down and defined what “happiness” is. Instead, we get programmed by others, mostly TV. “Buy this new iphone and you’ll be happy!” This is a trap. A hamster wheel. A trick to keep us chasing after something that can never be had.
With our children, wishing they can just be happy is doing the same thing to them that consumerism does.
Wishing a child to always be happy is like taking them to the Nutcracker and telling them they can only listen to the happy, happy, high notes.
I don’t want children to be “happy” in the context we are taught. I want them to evolve, grow, love, live, contribute, create, and have massive amounts of experiences.
Happiness is a state they can create from within. It’s not something they can put in from the outside. It’s also not permanent like concrete.
When your child is sad, let them know it’s a part of life. It is how we grow. It is part of the human experience and it’s perfectly fine. But do this while holding a safe space of peace and comfort.
When your child needs to cry, tell them to let it all out. Drain all those tears. You are cleaning out your heart. It’s okay to cry. Most of us could use a good cry from time to time. It’s okay.
Here’s what I learned about some parents that just wish their children were “happy”…
If my child was always happy, I would feel like a good parent.
If my child was always happy, I would not have to deal with uncomfortable situations.
If my child was always happy, then I would not have to face not knowing what to do when she is not happy.
Never has it been about the child. The wish is self-serving.
This is why I am a firm believer that if we as parents get to work on ourselves and evolve it will provide a great model for our children which is how they really learn. Trying to change them when it’s us that needs changing is a losing battle. A battle of denial and betrayal.
Here’s a great video on “Happiness”.