Friday, February 27, 2009


It always makes me laugh when I hear people's response to a common question,

"What do you wish for your children?"

The number one, most common response is, Happiness.

Well that's just crap.

Happiness is an emotion. Emotions aren't permanent. If they are, you probably need help. Permanent sadness is depression. Permanent anxiety is a disorder. Permanent perkiness is just annoying. Of all the qualities, characteristics, values, and strengths you would wish for your child, why would someone pick happiness?

For me, I would wish for my children to be honest, have self-confidence, be compassionate, independent, have strong values, stand up for themselves, and know they are loveable and know how to love others. I know that's a tall order. But hopefully, we'll do something right as parents and our children will turn out less messed up than we are.

But happiness? I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I don't wish eternal happiness on my children. What can one learn from that? Sadness, grief, despair is a natural part of life. I don't want my kids to be sheltered from the real world. Yes, life is hard. People let you down. Bad things happen. But to not experience that part of life, is to not experience life to the fullest. With the bad, you also have the good. And if anything, I want my children to live. Really live. And that means going through an array of emotions and experiences, even bad ones.

Anyway, what do you think? And what do you wish for your children?


janiece said...

I don't really know that I wish for my children. A good life. Whatever their definition of a good life is. I do feel that it is my job to make sure they are self-sufficient, responsible, contributing members of society. And I want them to be sad once in a while and lose once in a while. Why? because then they know what true happiness and success are when it happens. Sometimes that's the only way to learn.

The Knott Family said...

Very nicely said!