The goal of parenting is not happy children, but to turn out a successful adult.
That ‘s what our friend informed us as we all sat around the dinner table together. Two couples enjoying a fine meal and fine china. Two couples without children.
And you know something? At first, it seemed to make sense.
Our friend expounded on his theory. I mean, what makes a child happy? If you give a kid a piece of candy, then he’s happy. If you don’t, then he’s not. You can’t build a life around that.
Now isn’t that the truth!
Never mind that the gentleman didn’t have any children of his own. He was older and wiser. A sage looking on from a distance.
But then Matt and I went on to have children ourselves and our view changed a bit. Quite a bit. Suddenly we didn’t see anything wrong with wanting our child to be happy.
And, tell me again, how does happiness conflict with being a successful adult?
Maybe we wanted too much.
But my husband and I wanted our children to enjoy both a happy childhood and a successful adulthood.
We started to consider the possibility that the two of these went together – even went hand-in-hand. We began to suspect that learning how to be happy could be a very important skill to take into adulthood.
What if we were to pass on to our children the habits of happiness as a gift? Something that they could carry with them wherever God took them in life.
The 10 Habits of Happy Children
1. Happiness is not found in things.
Things will never make you happy. Never. Stuff will always remain just that: stuff. So don’t get drawn into the Stuff Game – it’s not nearly as much fun as it sounds.
2. Happiness is a choice.
Here’s the deal: happiness is not something you “find” or that “happens to you”. The beauty of happiness is that it is a choice you get to make. Every day. So why not choose to be happy?
3. Happiness is not about getting your way.
We think we’ll be content if we finally get what we want, or if things go our way. But that’s not how it works. Getting our way all the time is rarely as satisfying as we think it will be.
4. Happiness grows out of thankfulness.
If you make it your habit to be grateful each day for the blessings around you – whether big or small – you will find that you’ll become a happier person. The secret is simply being thankful for what you have right now.
5. Happiness is found in looking after others.
Surprised? Often, we assume that happiness is found in looking after ourselves, but the irony is that we are the ones who are blessed . . . when we are blessing others.
But he who has mercy on the poor, happy is he. ~ Prov. 14:21
6. Happiness isn’t a personality trait, but a character quality.
Some people seem happy as if that’s just the way they were made. Not so. Happiness is available to all for the taking. You can learn to be happy – much like you learn to be honest, kind, and thoughtful.
7. Happiness is found more in relationship, than in achievement.
While there’s nothing wrong with achieving goals, never let those goals come before the people you love. Always invest in relationships more than fame or fortune.
8. Happiness means giving it your best.
And resting in that. Doesn’t have to be perfect.
9. Happiness doesn’t depend on circumstances.
10. True happiness is always grounded in the God of Hope.
He is the only source of real joy.
Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God. ~ Psalm 146:5
So now we’re enjoying raising a bunch of happy children.
And aiming those happy kids toward a successful adulthood.
How to Help Your Children Get Happy: Do the Hard Work of Training
Defiant, Disrespectful kids are tough to be around, aren’t they? And yet, in Christian homes, this behavior is too often tolerated. How can parents correct this behavior and get their children and the culture of your home on the right track? All parenting is discipleship and there is no more important job a parent has than to disciple the heart of their child to the right path!
We hope you’ll join us for this encouraging conversation on training happy children over at the FAITHFUL LIFE podcast.
You can listen below or HERE!
Matt and Lisa Jacobson, authors of 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife, are the hosts of a weekly podcast to talk about what it means to be a biblical Christian in marriage, parenting, church, and culture. Matt and Lisa offer deep encouragement, along with practical steps and true-life stories, as we grow in walking the faithful life together.
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By Sheila Walsh
Do you ever find it hard to pray and don’t know what to say? Prayer is one of the most powerful, life-changing things we will ever do, and yet we often struggle. It’s hard to find the time. It’s repetitive, we get distracted and sometimes even bored. And the answers often feel few and far between. The good news? There is a simple, powerful way to reignite your conversation with God.
In Praying Women, bestselling author Sheila Walsh shares practical helps directly from God’s Word, showing you how to
– know what to say when you pray
– understand how to use prayer as a weapon when you are in the midst of a struggle
– pray as joy-filled warriors, not anxious worriers
– let go of the past and stand on God’s promises for you now
Prayer changes you and it changes the world. You may have tried before, but if you’re ready to start again in your relationship with God, let Sheila Walsh show you how to become a strong praying woman!