Why Parents Can’t Make Their Kids Happy

Here we are in the holiday season. It is truly a time for us to reflect on the many blessings in our lives. However those thoughts of gratitude are ever so quickly replaced by thoughts of all that is not right in our lives. What is it about our American culture that we often don’t take the time to truly appreciate all that we have, and instead believe that if only certain things in our life could change we would be really happy?

So we teach our children to always believe that happiness can only achieved if they fulfill certain cultural conditions. Happiness is therefore always elusive and a possible future condition, but how about now?

Parents need to be clear themselves about how to be happy. Happiness, as defined in our culture, comes from possessions, material trappings of success, or other externals. The truth about happiness is that it is achievable but that it comes from within.

Parents need to demonstrate for their kids an example of how to be happy by enjoying what they have, and being in the present
Remember to appreciate who your children are today, rather than the hope of what they will become tomorrow.

One thought on “Why Parents Can’t Make Their Kids Happy

  1. Loved reading this!

    How unfortunate it is that we tend to confuse achievement with happiness ourselves, and then treat our children accordingly.

    What an excellent message you offer instead: inspire you child's happiness by practicing unconditional happiness yourself.

    I've read about something like this "unconditional love" in Stephen Covey's The 7 Habits Of Effective Families, which he says is "a proactive choice that is not based on another's behavior…or any other factor except the intrinsic worth of a human being".

    Love and happiness just because you are you!

    Thanks so much Dr. Mikol.

    You Rock!

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