“I want my children to be happy,” is a common answer to this question.
I want my children to be happy too, but I have loved diving deeply into what it actually means. When I truly reflect on what I wish for them, I find the things that fuel every one of my parenting decisions. I have found that it’s not just about them being happy because they aren’t all the time. I’m not happy all the time either. Life is not always fun and wonderful; we constantly find ourselves in situations that bring up all the other feelings that make us wonderfully human.
I understand that happiness is a choice that we make everyday. I believe if we want our children to be happy, we must show them that they are indeed powerful and that they have the choice. I wish to inspire them to understand that the choice is only theirs to make. Not only is it their responsibility but they have the power to make it, all on their own and no matter what the circumstances.
As difficult as it is sometimes, I have realised that solving their problems for them or rescuing them when they have to experience difficult consequences in life, is not the answer. When I want to wipe their tears or soothe their anger, I stop for a moment and breathe. This allows me enough time to pause my instinct to jump in and to ask 2 questions;
- In this moment, who do they need me to be?
- In this moment, what will serve their highest good?
I have found that these questions stop me from lecturing them and giving them solutions. They empower me to truly see my children; puffy eyes and all, seething and frustrated, hurt, lost or sad. More important than being happy I guess, to me, is that my children believe that they are powerful and that no mountain is too great to climb, no challenge to difficult and that they have all they need within them.