Editor’s Note: Every parent wants to raise a happy child. But giving her gadgets and expensive gifts is not the real road to happiness. Spending quality time, understanding the child’s needs and not comparing her with other kids of her age is. Our member Viswamitra shares more on this. You too can tell us your thoughts on what makes a happy child. Write in to us here.
Everyone has the right to pursue happiness in life. We have heard many parents saying that “All we want is for our children to be happy”. Is that goal of the parents sustainable? There is so much anxiety among parents in raising their children. It looks like the mid-age crisis begins with the difficulties of raising children. Even though the child care comes naturally to the parents, their goal to keep the children happy appears to be elusive.
There are so many books on childcare in the libraries. Honestly, can someone reduce the childcare to a science? Is that responsibility associated with raising children disease free? Are children get influenced by their peers? Under what conditions their mental faculty develops? Do children share all of their questions and concerns freely with parents? Can they make independent decisions when they grow up? There are number of questions that linger in the minds of the parents.
Honestly, each child comes with his/her own agenda. There is no one size fits all strategy in raising children. It is the constant interaction of parents with their children that helps them understand their children better and better. The strategy of telling children what to do has to change to a strategy of listening to the children carefully what they are trying to communicate with their parents. Many parents benchmark their children with their own accomplishments or lack thereof. They like their children to do even better than what they had accomplished professionally or what they aimed to achieve but could not due to economic or social pressures.
Whenever parents of children of same age meets, the discussion always revolved around children and their capabilities. Parents always believe their children’s capabilities provide them social status. They constantly compare their children with that of others. In the past, children were asked to learn other skills besides education and sometimes, they were asked to work at a very young age in order to build social skills. Now both parents work and children are left with baby sitters or forced to stay alone at home. We have officially declared child labor as a social evil. They have so many technology gadgets to view things that may not be age appropriate or allowed to communicate with people whose interaction with children may not be appropriate. Now parents work full-time to educate children well but their other skills are developed only by sending them to extra-curricular activities such as dance, music, yoga and sports. The children take enormous pressure doing those extra-curricular activities. Parents need to spend time with their children to understand their skills as well as their needs and facilitate them.
Lastly, the parents need to understand that their children’s happiness and peace are the result of their actions and that themselves cannot be a goal. The children will have to build several qualities in order for them to feel peaceful and happy. They need to develop their discriminative power to understand the difference between right and wrong, understand survival in this world is directly proportional to how they become inter-dependent, believe love is an invaluable asset that they possess to carry out their duties in this world, realize communication with others is an important part of their personal development, and lastly possess self-confidence that every goal is achievable.
It is true peace and happiness are truly a state of mind. However, one can’t change the mind quickly to achieve peace and happiness. It is a life-long exercise. Peace and happiness in life are derivatives of the quality of life one conducts and they are not goals by themselves. If one likes his/her children to be happy and peaceful, they need to develop necessary qualities themselves to achieve peace and happiness so that it would be easier for their children to emulate such qualities. They need to train their children to achieve some great qualities that would help them to derive peace and happiness