BY ROD SMITH, MSc
“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.
Rod Smith is an experienced counselor. He holds a Masters Degree (MSc) in Family Therapy from Butler University and a Higher Diploma in Education (HDE) in School Counseling and English. Rod held a daily column in South African papers for nearly a decade. His website continues to serve the public, providing articles on topics of parenting, relationships and communication. You can read more of his work at the link below.