Helping Children Embrace Big Emotions

What we wish most for our children is that they may be happy. When facing times of crisis, or simply life’s regular ups and downs, what can we do to support our children’s search for sustainable happiness?

I can clearly remember sitting in a parents group when my youngest was in elementary school, participating in a discussion about what we most wanted for our children. Being happy was at the top of everyone’s list, and yet our ideas of what this meant and how to “make” it happen seemed unclear, at best, not to mention more than a little out of sync with how the world actually works. Parents at this workshop wanted their kids to make the team, get the part in the play, be accepted to the right college, remain strong and healthy, have good friends, never go through loss or grief, and the list goes on. 

Listening to each parent wax poetic about their beautiful, loving dreams for their children’s futures, I realized that “happiness” was defined as the wish for them to never feel let down or disappointed and for everything in their lives to be perfect.

 You see the problem with this version of happiness, right?

Happiness Is Riding the Waves

If you have children, you know the feeling: the deep desire to fix things that don’t go their way. That urge…