What parenting goals do Pru and I have?
My first guess is some balance of these 5 things that our kids will become:
1. Good people / moral / kind / care about others
2. Academically strong (so they have options in life)
3. Confident / healthy self-esteem / positive identity about some thing or things that make them special, make them different from peers
4. Independent / Self-reliant / Persistent / Resilient / Self-Aware (I may have jammed too many things in this category)
5. Funny / full of laughter / fun to be around!
And in each category, we feel pride both in absolute “score” and in progress/gain.
For example, D has made some very nice gains in her reading skills, which delights us, even if still room for growth on absolute scale.
Meanwhile, she’s always been wired to care about others, so I’m not sure there’s progress per se. But we never get tired of noticing her continued excellence in this area.
A friend wrote to Pru today:
I just wanted to say that my heart almost exploded when (your daughter) D wrote a thank you card to a member of the custodial staff at Girl Scouts last night.
My Dad was an elementary school janitor for many years and the kids loved him and he loved the kids. He saved all the cards kids wrote him over the years.
I’ve tried to impress this point on my kids too, and you and Mike have obviously done a wonderful job with your kiddos. ❤
I didn’t put “Happy” on this list. But certainly we hope for that.
Hmm. Maybe if our kids achieve all 5 of those things, then they’ll probably be happy.
Those 5 things can be cultivated by parents. Each contributes to long-term happiness. But perhaps you can’t make a direct run at just trying to “make your kid happy.”