Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A little musing

Hello readers,

I was speaking with a friend the other day who was talking to me about the philosophy of raising her children "As long as their happy, they don't have to have to be the top of their class...and I can't remember what she said after that but it got me thinking...

We all want our children to be happy in life, to have a wonderful childhood, full of laughter and love but when does happiness become an excuse for mediocrity?

Does as long as their happy mean not trying? Does as long as their happy mean because 'maths does not make them happy that they don't have to apply themselves ? They don't have to push through the tough times when it is not always easy or it doesn't make you happy. Some of the best moments in my life have been when I pushed through what was deemed to be tough at the time. When I pushed through I came out on the other side a happier stronger person because I learnt not to give up, I learnt to put my head down and my bum up and I built character and strength even though I wanted to give up. I learnt to stick to something and see-it-through and that has made me happy as a person to something to the end.

The question is is when do we teach discipline and to sometimes put our feelings aside and say 'okay its time to suck it up and get this done even though while I'm doing it it doesn't make me happy" I sometimes wonder if we use 'their happiness' as an excuse not to do what is really needed to get done to help them succeed as adults and to function in the real world.

Just thinking....



  1. Great post, Kimba. Here is something to consider, do we learn more from pleasure or pain? The answer is pain. Pain is a powerful teacher. As humans, we are always looking to avoid pain and seek pleasure. However, pain is the better teacher. Pain is what makes us grow as people, as you aptly noted in your musing. When our children have to deal with pain or do things that are uncomfortable, it makes them grow in character and strength.

    It is sad that many parents think that our children's happiness is the end all of parenting. While we do wish to see them happy, struggle will take them to higher places.

    I recall being placed into an honors Algebra class is 8th grade. I was lost and struggling with a D after the first report card. Now that did not make me happy. If my parents were out to seek only my happiness they may have moved me down to a class that I could easily master. However, the teacher encouraged the strugglers to come anytime for help, either before school, after school or at lunchtime. I eagerly sought help and went from a D to an A and aced my final exam with a 98. The feelings of accomplishment, mastery and achievement are priceless and they are gifts given to those that persevere. We cannot allow our children to experience triumph if they never have any hurdles to jump over. And as far as I know, the only time we will live in an existence that is always happy is when the Good Lord restores His people in His new kingdom. It makes me think he allows the pain for a reason.

  2. Thanks for your reply. I have often wondered if we as parents should return to some 'old fashioned' parenting techniques our grandparents used and even our great grandparents used. There was none of this 'lets make sure our children are happy,' 'let's discuss your feelings' Oh we can't make little Johnny do that its too much.

    Back in there days the children were expected to behave or there was consequences to their actions and they were followed through. Parents disciplined their children and that was all there ws to it. There was no nonscence and children knew their place in the family. Now I am not an idealist and believe all of those children were happy or that today better techniques can be used but in saying that are the children today any happier??? Are they any happier because they were allowed to give up because it got too hard or 'it didn't make them happy'

    Sometimes this parenting thing is hard but I have to remember as much as 'they' the experts say we are not raising eternal children they will (no matter what) become adults and I would like my children to become adults who are able to contribute to the world and not expect somebody else to do the work for them 'because it didn't make them happy'.