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So often I hear parents talk about wanting their children to be successful. You’ve probably heard about all the hardcore “helicopter mom” stories that talk about how important their child’s “success” is to them. I am completely the opposite of that.
I’m always the first to say that success is not my goal. I’m not pouring my soul into making “successful” kids. I get “looks” and “stares”. I totally see where they are coming from too.
I decided pretty quickly after my oldest was born that I don’t care about how successful she is.
In fact I don’t even know what success is, or means. Who cares what your child chooses to do for a living. So what if they make millions or enough to live comfortably. Really, this is all trivial.
We are given one life to live.
One life to make a difference and to follow our dreams. When you are young the sky is the limit. As you get older you lose some of the magical thinking. We as parents have the most important job on this planet. We are trusted to lead our children into the future. We are the ones that are the shapers of their future. It is our obligation to them to constantly remind them that they can and will do anything they want.
Enough of the constant pressure on our kids.
I want one thing for my kids. Happiness! Shouldn’t that be the ultimate goal when raising children?
Yep, I want my kids all to be happy. Everything else seems to fall into place when you are happy. I certainly don’t want their happiness to come at the expense of someone else’s unhappiness.
I’ve found that they fastest way to happiness comes when you dedicate your life to helping others.
So I’m teaching them that too. Now don’t get me wrong, my kids know that life isn’t always a happy place… but they also know that happiness is a choice. Regardless of what life throws at you… you can choose to feel happy. You can make the right choices in life that will make others and yourself happy. You can choose to be a good person. Doing good makes happiness happen.
They also know that in order to be happy they have to follow their passion.
If their passion is to be a teacher, then they must dedicate themselves to becoming a darn good teacher. To find true happiness you have to love what you do and do it well.
Does this mean they would be successful? Probably. To the world they are a success. They all get good grades and that makes me happy, but what I really want them to chase is their happiness, not just good grades and certainly not my vision of success or the worlds for that matter!
Stop for a second and decide to focus on happiness.
Let’s lead our children by example… let’s choose to spread happiness to those around us. This is not a call to buy them a toy, this is a call to play with them and spend time with them. I promise it will make you both happy.
Now I ask you… what kind of kids are you raising?