It seems that for some parents to raise their children to be independent, the happiest, the most successful and the best leader is part of their goal in life. However, parents struggle with these ideas; but are we really as parents looking for such goals for our children? Be happy, is what everyone wants; however, do we know what happiness is? Do we have a definition? And, if yes, what makes us think that our definition of happiness is universal? The world change at a rate never registered in history. Technology, resources, population, climate change, and make the world a place where we have to adjust to unpredictable conditions. So, are we giving to our children the right tools for happiness?
Of course, there is no one unique answer to this question, but to reflect on, is a way to generate ideas, vision, understanding and possibilities.
The concept of happiness is related to sensory pleasure, hubristic prize (winning), authentic pride (progress), love and connections and feeling of abundance. Our definition has an enormous impact on what our children choose for themselves. So, are we holding conversations around the topic with them? Are we listening to what they have to say? Happiness is important to them, so to have an honest and open conversation can give us guidelines to find tools for them to consider. Eventually, they will make their choices.
Another relevant topic is success; is success desirable or not? What is success? We tend to reward our children when they win a competition or do well in school. In general, when their behavior pleases us, so we can project their future with that behavior. But, is this realistic? We think success bring happiness but is this true?
Today, tools to access to success are adaptability, flexibility, creativity. These will be essential for them. But to consider that, they need our adaptability, flexibility and creativity. If you view leadership as part of your children’s plan you have to be ready to face change, unpredictability, diversity, knowledge, expertise, improvisation, technology and many other variables that challenge for sure your understanding of leadership. Besides that, what kind of leader are we expecting? Independence seems to be also an important topic. Our children live in an interconnected world; they live in connection, and they understand they need others, even if others are in different realities. They see also alternatives, if one doesn’t work, another will, others will be there for them. Happiness, success, leadership, and independence emerge when it comes to raise your children, and you need to be flexible, adaptable, and creative when you talk with them.