It’s a wonderful thing when a parent looks around at their adult children and thinks, “I raised happy people.” A vast amount of a child’s attitude about life in general is not taught to them directly by their parents, but is learned by existing within the attitudes and behaviors of their parents.
Parents give their children a base or foundation to build their walls upon. If the base if solid and reliable, then no matter how many attempts they make at building upon it; it’s always there to rely on.
Give your children a base of reliability, solidity and good humor. Even though we are the masters of our own destinies, sometimes other ‘destinies’ cross our paths and try to foil our good humor. Teach your children that whenever these obstacles are in their path, they have options. They can go around them, through them, or they can fly. Let them decide which path to take. Advise, but do not preach. If their going gets tough, NEVER do an “I told you so”. Simply help them along, if and only if, they need it. No matter the situation, reach out and give them a metaphorical ‘tickle’. Keep them in good humor. Life throws us a lot of obstacles, dust and decisions. It also throws us sunshine, laughter and amazement. Tell your children they can laugh or bitch. They will usually make a decision based on how they’ve seen you handle things.
Someone once said, “It’s not the problem that’s the problem; it’s your reaction to the problem that’s the problem.” Granted, no one is smiley and full of good cheer 24/7. Life throws us plenty of grief and hardship. Teach your children that even in the face of adversity, they know a secret. The secret is “It Won’t Last.” What will last is the solid foundation of reliability and good humor.
As a parent, you are not responsible for what they choose to build on their foundation. The choices they make as adults are theirs, not yours. You are never done being a parent, teacher or advisor but you are no longer a builder. The foundation has been laid.
If your children are raised seeing parents who smile a lot, laugh frequently, enjoy each other’s company, enjoy the company of their children and handle adversity with good cheer, THAT will be their biggest influence.
You can never MAKE another person happy; that’s up to them. You can SHOW them happiness and what a wonderful life awaits them on the Happiness Path.
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