6 ways to help our kids to be ‘whole’ rather than ‘happy’.

A couple of days ago, I wrote this post about how I reckon wanting our kids to be happy isn’t the way to go.

At first glance, it may seem like a reasonable ambition to want our kids to be happy. But I think it may be leading to some unintended consequences, which aren’t great for our kids. You can read the post here.

Instead, I suggested that a better goal is to help our kids to become ‘whole’. And by that I mean to become absolutely themselves. At their best. People with character and spunk and virtue.

That is now my focus. Instead of wanting my kids to be happy, I’m focusing on helping them become whole. So what do I mean by that?

Here are 6 ways to help our kids to be ‘whole’ rather than ‘happy’.

01 – Well

I want my kids to experience wellbeing. I think it goes beyond happiness. It encompasses being emotionally well, physically healthy, and having a sense of self-care. Wellbeing doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time. It’s more about making the most of everything that’s good in your life, and learning and growing from the difficult stuff.

02 – Capable

I want my kids to be capable. I want them to have a go, fail, and then go again. I want them to feel like they can try, make mistakes, and then learn from those mistakes. I don’t want them to have everything done for them. I want them to do things for themselves so they feel capable and confident and they don’t fear difficulties.

03 – Resilient

I want my kids to be resilient. To have some backbone. To know that challenges in life are opportunities. To have that sense of achievement and deeper satisfaction that comes when you do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, but you push through and come out the other side. I want them to be able to manage the good, the bad, and everything in between.

04 – Grounded

I want my kids to be grounded and centred. I want them to know themselves so they don’t always crave outside validation. Instead, they seek inner knowing and understanding. I want them to learn to listen to themselves, to follow their real passions, and to make their contribution.

05 – Compassionate

I want my kids to be compassionate. To live with more heart energy than head energy. To love themselves and others for who they are and not who they want them to be. To forgive and be understanding. To not project onto or blame others, but to be responsible for their own feelings and thinking.

06 – Connected

I want my kids to feel connected. I want them to feel like they are a part of a supportive network of people who love and appreciate them for who they are. I want them to feel part of something bigger too. A meaningful life. A life where they do their thing, and help others to do their thing.

As I said in my earlier post, when I focus on helping my kids be ‘whole’ rather than ‘happy’, I make very different decisions about when to say ‘No’, what to encourage and how to guide them.

What do you think about these ideas of helping our kids be ‘whole’? Would you add or take away anything from this list?

Jodie Purple

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