What I Want for My Children

January 15, 2013

in Parenting

Be unique

When my children grow up, I want them to be _____________________.

Reading that sentence, many will fill in the blank with a doctor, lawyer, teacher, my successor in the family business, or some other profession.

Me?

I fill it in with one word:

Happy.

This can’t be surprising to regular readers since I write about issues surrounding happiness, and live my life according to what I preach here. Understanding how to live a happy life is something I am trying to instill in my children as well; it’s what I want most for them. I don’t just want them to be happy related to career choices though, but in other important life decisions, too. Choosing a spouse wisely, making good decisions in parenting, where to live, and how to live their life are all part of increasing the chance to be happy in adulthood.

But even with making sound decisions, there will be challenging times when happiness seems elusive. What I hope for my children is that as adults they are equipped with the skills to work through the difficulty, and find the good in each day despite a challenge.

The kids would say they want to be a vet or a professional baseball player, but I will see my level of success in raising them based upon their understanding that happiness is a choice, it’s something we are responsible for–not others, and that even in challenging times, there is always a ray of sunshine to appreciate.

Tell me: how do you fill in the blank above?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

The Defiant Marshmallow January 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm

“Happy” is my first choice in the blank as well. Interestingly, I find it almost neck and neck with the word “Grateful”. Hard to miss that that is the first trait on your list of 20 Traits Happy People Share.

I want my sons to live with a mindset of gratitude for life and all that life contains. If they do, they will be happy.
The Defiant Marshmallow recently posted..After The ApocalypseMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 17, 2013 at 7:40 am

Happiness definitely comes from having a grateful heart. If you are always wanting more, and unappreciative of what you have, it leads to misery. Thanks for visiting!

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lisa thomson January 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Living their passion! Same as Happy…

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 17, 2013 at 7:40 am

Great answer, Lisa!

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sandra tyler January 16, 2013 at 12:02 pm

can’t believe this is the first time I’m visiting your blog! I’d like to get more involved over at studio3oplus but it’s all I can do to keep up with my own blog. I’ll try to make more of an effort! Love you place here and will stop by again for cyber coffee! As to what I want for my own children, I too want them only to be happy. My 7 year old wants to be a waiter and magician when he grows up. As long as the waiter job pays his rent so he can do magic, great!
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 17, 2013 at 7:41 am

Welcome, Sandra! Please do come back with a cup and stay awhile. Would love to have you visit again.

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Vinny C January 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm

My wife & I have had a few conversations on this topic in the past. She’s more of the traditional doctor/lawyer thinker while I always say it doesn’t matter if they want to dig ditches, for example, I want any children we have someday to be happy, first & foremost.

She doesn’t disagree about them being happy but, her usual concession would be something like, “It’s alright, as long as they work hard and own a successful “ditch-digging empire one day.’
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Naked Girl in a Dress January 17, 2013 at 7:41 am

You and your wife will be a nice balance in parenting!

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Jenny January 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I cheat a little and slip in two things: happy and balanced. I always tell them that I hope for them to NOT be the best in the world at any thing. I don’t want them to go to the Olympics. I don’t want them to become world leaders. I don’t believe it’s possible to live a balanced life when you’re at swimming practice five hours a day throughout your youth, or when the weight of your nation’s safety is on your shoulders! I want them to experience all the good things life has to offer, and without balance, I’m not sure that’s possible.
Jenny recently posted..When Ann Rice Died: Reflections on Death, Chickens, and MotherhoodMy Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress January 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

This is an excellent point, Jenny! Happy is my wish for my kids, but as someone who struggles with balance, that did not come to mind. This is a wonderful perspective.

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Alexa February 12, 2013 at 9:38 pm

So true. So very true. I don’t have anything to add, because you said it perfectly!
Alexa recently posted..Will I Ever Be Content?My Profile

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Naked Girl in a Dress February 13, 2013 at 8:21 am

Thank you Alexa!

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