It's Not Your Job as a Parent to Make Your Children Happy

It's Not Your Job as a Parent to Make Your Children Happy

Sitting with clients every day makes me realize that so many people are confused when it comes to the parent-child relationship and what their responsibility is when it comes to being a parent. Some parents think it’s their job to make their children happy and to think for them – but this is not true.

It’s not the parents’ job to think for their children or to make them happy. How do I know this is true? I know this because it’s impossible for one human being to think for another human being or to make another human being happy. This is the impersonal universal law. It’s the mechanism of mind that operates equally for all human beings. There are no exceptions to this law. And this means that each individual is living in his or her own mental universe, which means that each human being is experiencing the results of his or her own thoughts. (See my book “The Awakening Human Being” for a detailed explanation of this impersonal mechanism.)

This doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t love their children and treat them with respect. But treating children with respect means respecting their intelligence, their individuality, their right to be who they are – and not trying to think for them (which is impossible) or expecting them to make you happy or for you to make them happy (also impossible).

It's Not Your Job To Make Your Kids Happy

Unfortunately since most people do not understand the mechanism of mind which says that it’s an impersonal, universal law that each person can only experience their own thoughts and interpretations of the events that are unfolding in their lives – a lot of confusion arises. And thus because people who are parents don’t understand the mechanism, they mistakenly think that it’s their job to make their kids happy. But it doesn’t work no matter how “hard” parents may try – and this is because it’s the child’s own thoughts and interpretation of events that determine their child’s state of mind.

It's Not Your Job as a Parent to Make Your Children HappyWhen you look around you, you can see for yourself that this is true. And this explains why one child who has been spoiled and given everything is still miserable, unsatisfied and always cranky while another child who may have very little (in the way of attention or possessions) is joyful and positive about life and his or her possibilities.

So when we understand this mechanism, it leaves us (the parents) with the following – it’s our job to take responsibility for our own lives and our own happiness and in this way teach our children (by our own example) the laws of the universe and the mechanism of mind. When children see their parents living sane, responsible, and authentic lives with integrity, they will follow their example. Again this is because the reality is that parents teach their children through their actions and behavior (not their words).

The reality is that children naturally copy their parents’ behavior because this is the model for life and relationships they see and are exposed to. (Which is also why dysfunctional behavior gets passed down from generation to generation despite the parents firm desire not to do what their parents did!)

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So it’s important to remember:

  • Children didn’t come into this world to make you happy (that’s your job).

  • It’s not your job to make your children happy (that’s their job).

    • And this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of your children and treat them with love and respect.

  • Everyone wants to be free (including your children). It’s the universal urge in us all. No one fights to be a slave.

    • This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set limits and take care of your children when they are small.

    • As they grow older, a parent’s job is to let go and trust in the intelligence of their children.

  • Children came into their world to live their own lives (that’s their job).

  • You came into this world to live your own life (that’s your job).

  • You can’t know what your child’s dream is.

  • You are probably having a hard enough time figuring out what your own dream is.

  • You can’t know what’s best for your child.

  • Can you even know what’s best for you?

  • Your child has a right to be who he or she is.

    • This doesn’t mean that you cannot set limits in your home.

    • This doesn’t mean you cannot explain to your children and show them through your words and actions that everything we say and do has consequences.

  • You cannot prevent your children experiencing the consequences of their thoughts, words and actions. This is the order of the universe and the sooner children learn this, the better.

  • You cannot prevent your children from making what you think are “mistakes”. How else can they learn about life? How did you learn about life?

All this also means that it’s okay to show your kids that you’re not perfect (the reality) and that you don’t know all the answers (also the reality) and that sometimes life is difficult for you (also the reality) but that you’re doing the best you can to figure things out (also reality) and hopefully follow your integrity (probably your preference). And since this is a sane, realistic assessment and approach to life, it’s also a sane, realistic way of interacting with the young human beings who are in your care for some years.

Excerpted from a book entitled "Sane Self Talk" (available only in Danish at present).
© Barbara Berger. Reprinted with permission of the author.

Book mentioned in this article:

The Awakening Human Being: A Guide to the Power of Mind
by Barbara Berger with Tim Ray.

The Awakening Human BeingA practical spiritual handbook that offers readers a complete guide to the awakening consciousness that is emerging on planet Earth. In this book, Barbara not only maps out the incredible power of mind, but she explains how to use this power wisely. Find a way out of suffering by waking up to the nature of reality and the nature of mind and find the peace and happiness you seek in the present moment.

Click for more info or to order this book on Amazon

About the Author

Barbara Berger, author of the book: Are You Happy Now?Barbara Berger has written over 15 self-empowerment books, including the international bestseller "The Road to Power / Fast Food for the Soul" (published in 30 languages), "Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life" (more than 20 languages) and “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”. American-born, Barbara now lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition to her books, she offers private coaching sessions to individuals who wish to work intensely with her (in her office in Copenhagen or on Skype and telephone for people who live far away from Copenhagen). For more about Barbara Berger, see her Web site:


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