My Kids Don't Make Me Happy...

My children don’t make me happy. Why? Because that’s not their job.

I experience deep joy from seeing my kids develop, grow and thrive. But they are not responsible for me having those feelings. And an important part of my relationship with them is that they know it. There have been moments where I have felt the need to tell them that this is the case, but for the most part, I communicate this through my actions; self-work is largely about learning to be as self-sufficient as possible in happiness.

Children must never feel responsible for their parents. Ever. Simple as that. They must not feel it is their job to keep their parent(s) happy, calm or safe. 

At some point in early adolescence, I believe it’s wise to introduce young people to the concept of validating people’s emotions; including their parents. But this still is not taking responsibility for another’s feelings.

In order to feel completely safe with their parents, children need to feel free to feel what they feel, without worrying about whether that might upset you as their parent. They are not our protectors, buddies, or therapists! 

By becoming self-sufficient in happiness, by having your own life path and self-development, you provide a role model for your children and in so doing teach them how to be happy.