What? We shouldn't want our kids to be happy? Not really, say Aaron Cooper, Ph.D. & Eric Keitel, M.Ed. Instead of focusing on their being happy all the time (causing them to pretend to be happy when they really aren't), we should teach them to accept the full range of feelings so they can handle disappointment, fear, anger, etc.
The authors say that this "...want them to be happy" mantra makes us captive to our kids' moods, feel guilt when they aren't happy, and prevents their learning to cope with adversity.
As co-author of THE COMPLETE SINGLE FATHER, I've heard how single dads who often have their kids part time, every other weekend, or just on holidays, feel they need to make their kids happy to "prove" that they're still a good parent. No doubt single moms feel similarly.
Rather than focusing on our kids being happy, we need to let them know that it's important to be healthy, caring, find meaning in their lives, have fine character, practice acts of loving kindness, and be spiritual.
I JUST WANT MY KIDS TO BE HAPPY is a most unusual and thought provoking book. Whether you're a parent, grandparent, teacher, spiritual advisor, etc., this is a special book to open your mind to what really matters in your life and your children's lives and to prepare them for whatever life brings.
I highly recommend this book.
Elaine Fantle Shimberg